Monkeypox update: US cases are increasing and there’s not enough vaccine

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Health officials have admitted that the demand for monkeypox vaccines in the US is now more than the national supply.

The US has so far seen 1,470 monkeypox cases - up from just 45 on 10 June - with Centers for Disease Control Director Rochelle Walensky describing the vaccine shortfall as “frustrating.”

And officials have admitted that supply has not kept up with demand in some areas such as New York and California.

“I want to acknowledge that at this time the demand for vaccines from jurisdictions is higher than our current available supply, and we know that this is frustrating,” said Ms Walensky during a media briefing this week.

“We anticipate an increase in cases in the coming weeks.”

The Department of Health and Human Services says that it has distributed around 156,000 doses of the two-shot Jynneos vaccine so far, and will start distributing another 131,000 doses this week.

Officials at HHS say that it ordered 2.5m more Jynneos doses on Friday that will be delivered in 2023. The department also ordered another 2.5m doses on 1 July.

US health officials say they have information on around half the country’s monkeypox patients, and that the vast majority are men who have had sexual encounters with other men.

The cases are part of a global outbreak that has seen more than 12,000 cases reported in countries that do not normally see them.

The virus mainly spreads through skin-on-skin contact, but it can also transmit through touching linens used by someone with monkeypox.

Monkeypox patients may experience fever, body aches, chills, and fatigue, and many have developed painful spot-like bumps on parts of their body.

No one has yet died from monkeypox and health officials have warned that anyone can catch it.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.