September 30, 2023

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US expands monkeypox vaccination campaign

The United States is expanding its monkeypox vaccination campaign. Yesterday, the US Department of Health announced that it will immediately release 56 thousand doses of the vaccine in areas with high rates of transmission. This is more than five times what was previously distributed in the country. The US government also wants to secure an additional 240,000 doses of vaccine in the coming weeks. A total of 1.6 million doses of vaccine should be available this year.

Reuters/Gavino Garay

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the current outbreak of monkeypox has reported 4,700 cases worldwide. There have been 306 cases in the United States, none of which have been fatal.

There is no global health emergency at the moment

Monkeypox, a less dangerous cousin of smallpox, which was eradicated about 40 years ago, is common in West and Central Africa. But since May, monkeypox has also spread to other countries, especially in Western Europe. Typical symptoms of the disease include high fever, swollen lymph nodes and sheep sores. The disease is transmitted through contact with the body and the skin.

The World Health Organization (WHO) decided at the weekend not to declare an international health emergency over monkeypox. According to WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the monkeypox outbreak is not currently classified as a public health emergency of international concern – the highest level of alert at the WHO.

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