Aug 4, 2022 - News

Monkeypox vaccines in short supply

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Michigan's already-limited supply of monkeypox (MPV) vaccines is expected to be outpaced by demand as more people across the state get exposed.

Why it matters: Across the nation, health officials worry that the outbreak could become our second major public health disaster in as many years if we don't work faster to contain it, Axios D.C.'s Chelsea Cirruzzo and Cuneyt Dil report.

What they’re saying: "It is something that we could contain, but it's gonna require a great deal of effort. I believe we're behind,” says Georges Benjamin, who leads the American Public Health Association.

Context: There are nearly 6,000 known monkeypox cases in the U.S. and no deaths, per the CDC.

  • Michigan isn't a current hotspot. It has recorded 62 cases, with the most in Detroit (16) and Oakland County (12).

The latest: Michigan's supply of the Jynneos vaccine, which prevents MPV, is "limited," and need will continue to rise. Demand is hard to quantify, though, because the outbreak is evolving, state health department spokesperson Lynn Sutfin wrote in an email.

  • "Jynneos is not likely to become broadly available in the near-term," she said.

​​What's happening: States' access to vaccines is limited because the federal government is only able to purchase doses from one company in Denmark. States are able to request how many doses they want from the amount allocated to them.

  • While many have requested their full share of doses, Michigan requested just 53% of its allocated shares as of July 22, per the Kaiser Family Foundation.
  • Michigan has more than 3,800 total doses and has requested nearly 4,200 more. It hasn't yet used up what it's received, but is in process.
  • Detroit has two vaccination sites open.

Between the lines: Jynneos is a two-dose vaccination series, but many health departments nationwide, including Michigan's, are forgoing second shots in order to get as many first doses in arms as possible.

What to know: Michigan is urging people who think they've been exposed to contact their local health department to get vaccinated within four days of exposure.

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