Global monkeypox cases rise to 26,000
Between five and 10 million vaccine doses needed to protect high-risk groups
WHO have shared that the window to stop the spread of monkeypox is closing, with cases currently doubling every two weeks. There have been over 26,000 cases of monkeypox reported globally from 78 countries, with the majority of cases in Europe. The virus is additionally in the process of being renamed.
Around 10% of patients have been hospitalised in the current outbreak. Five of these have died, WHO reported; all of them in Africa. The virus generally causes mild to moderate symptoms, including fatigue, fever, and painful skin lesions. These tend to resolve within a few weeks.
The US has shared it is to distribute 800,000 doses of monkeypox vaccine. Distribution was withheld pending an FDA review, which has now cleared the additional doses of vaccine for use. Stores of Jynneos, the monkeypox vaccine, have been constricted since the beginning of the outbreak.
While the new doses will expand the US supply, experts have questioned whether it will provide sufficient immunisation to meet demand. Since May, the US has confirmed nearly 7,000 cases, among the highest tallies in the world. This figure is believed to underestimate the true number of positive cases.
80 of the countries reporting cases of the
virus have not historically reported monkeypox.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, has shared that there are around 16 million doses of approved vaccine available, but only in bulk. This means it will take several months to transfer vaccine doses into vials.
The organisation estimates that between 5 million and 10 million doses of vaccine will be needed to protect all high-risk groups.
American officials have now ordered nearly seven million doses, which will arrive in batches over the coming months.