People at risk who received a single dose of the monkeypox vaccine in the United States' attempts to combat the virus appeared to be significantly less likely to get sick, public health officials announced Wednesday, though they urged receiving a second. dose for complete protection.
It is the first time that public health authorities have provided information on how the Jynneos vaccine affects monkeypox, a virus that spreads primarily among infected men who have sex with men.
“These new data provide us with a level of cautious optimism that the vaccine is working as intended,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said Wednesday. .
About 800,000 first and second doses of the vaccine have been given across the country to people considered to be at high risk of becoming infected with the virus, said Bob Fenton, White House monkeypox response coordinator.
At the moment there are no scientifically conclusive data showing the efficacy of the Jynneos vaccine against monkeypox.
But new figures from the CDC show that unvaccinated men ages 18 to 49 who were considered eligible to receive the vaccine were 14 times more likely to be infected with monkeypox than those who received a dose at least two weeks before. The data comes from 32 states and corresponds to the cases registered between July 31 and September 3.
Still, Walensky said, laboratory studies show that the highest level of immunity to the virus is reached after people receive a second dose of the vaccine, calling it "really important."
Worldwide, the United States is the country that has reported the most cases of monkeypox. More than 25,000 infections of the virus, which can cause a rash, fever, body aches and chills, have been recorded so far.
The country faced problems early in its response, as federal authorities struggled to distribute the vaccine after the first case was detected in May. Some cities and counties tried to stretch the limited supply this summer, forcing them to stop offering the recommended second dose of the vaccine.
Now public health officials are trying to catch up, reminding people to get their second dose. As of September 17, some 150,000 second doses had been administered, according to the CDC.