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U.S. to release nearly 150,000 doses of monkeypox vaccine from national stockpile

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To date, close to 800 cases have been reported in 38 states and Washington, D.C., since the outbreak began in May, according to data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. File Photo by Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regnery/<a href="https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/response/2022/index.html" target="_blank">CDC</a>/<a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Monkeypox_Virion_(colorized)_-_CDC.png" target="_blank">Wikimedia Commons</a>
To date, close to 800 cases have been reported in 38 states and Washington, D.C., since the outbreak began in May, according to data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. File Photo by Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regnery/CDC/Wikimedia Commons

July 11 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden's administration on Monday will release almost 150,000 additional doses of monkeypox vaccine from a national stockpile amid riding cases nationwide, officials said.

The Department of Health and Human Services said last week that 144,000 doses of the JYNNEOS vaccine -- which is used to prevent both monkeypox and smallpox -- would begin shipping from the Strategic National Stockpile to states on Tuesday. The new batch of vaccines follows 56,000 doses that were made available to states on in June.

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"We are using every tool we have to increase and accelerate JYNNEOS vaccine availability in jurisdictions that need them the most," Steve Adams, director of the Strategic National Stockpile, said in a statement.

To date, close to 800 cases have been reported in 38 states and Washington, D.C., since the outbreak began in May, according to data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Monkeypox symptoms generally include several days of flu-like illness and swollen lymph nodes followed by a blister or pimple-like rash. It commonly spreads through direct contact with an infectious rash, scabs or bodily fluid or touching items that have previously touched a rash or fluid.

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The JYNNEOS vaccine is usually administered in two doses four weeks apart and people are considered vaccinated two weeks after receiving their second dose. However, they should continue to avoid skin-to-skin contact with anyone who has monkeypox, the CDC says. File Photo by James Gathany/CDC/Wikimedia Commons

Monkeypox can also spread through respiratory secretions during prolonged face-to-face contact or during intimate physical contact such as kissing, cuddling or sex, according to the CDC.

Due to a low supply, officials say the criteria for who will be eligible to receive the vaccine doses vary depending on the jurisdiction administering the shots.

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The current outbreak has largely involved gay and bisexual men, many of whom recently reported having multiple or anonymous sex partners.

CDC guidance says that vaccine priority should go to known contacts of people who have been diagnosed with monkeypox, people whose sex partners in the last 14 days were diagnosed with monkeypox and people with multiple sexual partners in the past 14 days.

The JYNNEOS vaccine is usually administered in two doses four weeks apart and people are considered vaccinated two weeks after receiving their second dose. However, they should continue to avoid skin-to-skin contact with anyone who has monkeypox, the CDC says.

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The vaccine can also prevent against disease following exposure. The CDC recommends administering the first dose up to four days after exposure, but it says the vaccine can reduce symptoms up to two weeks following exposure.

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