The United States is increasing its testing capacity and vaccine supply to address monkeypox outbreak as more than 1,000 confirmed cases have been reported nationwide.
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A total of 1,053 confirmed monkeypox cases had been reported in 43 states as of Wednesday, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). California had the most cases, with 161, followed by New York with 159 and Illinois with 152. Experts said given the testing bottlenecks in the United States, monkeypox cases are likely being undercounted.
Over 132,000 doses of JYNNEOS, the vaccine licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) indicated for prevention of smallpox and monkeypox, had been distributed from the Strategic National Stockpile to jurisdictions as of Tuesday to support local monkeypox response efforts, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Monkeypox vaccines continue to be in short supply at the local level as cases grow. In Los Angeles, the Department of Public Health offers vaccine by invitation only to people who have a known exposure or are at high risk of one. The city had 70 confirmed cases as of Wednesday.
In New York, the city's monkeypox vaccine appointment website crashed Tuesday "due to overwhelming traffic," the city said. City and state officials in New York have complained they have not received enough vaccines, arguing that they are dealing with the nation's largest monkeypox outbreak and should be apportioned more doses.
Nearly 800,000 more doses of monkeypox vaccine could be ready for distribution in the United States by the end of July following the FDA's inspection of a Danish vaccine plant and the expected authorization of the facility.
Testing for monkeypox was initially difficult in the country as laboratories were not equipped for it. The HHS announced on June 22 it began shipping orthopoxvirus tests to five commercial laboratory companies to quickly increase monkeypox testing capacity and access in every community during the ongoing monkeypox outbreak.
Since then, the CDC has shipped the tests to the laboratories and their employees have been trained on their administration, among other steps.Quest Diagnostics and Aegis Sciences started offering test on Wednesday and Thursday. It is expected that the country's testing capacity will reach up to 70,000 species per week by the end of the month.