First on CNN: Unvaccinated people 14 times more likely to get monkeypox than vaccinated people, new US data shows |  CNN Politics

First on CNN: Unvaccinated people 14 times more likely to get monkeypox than vaccinated people, new US data shows | CNN Politics



CNN

Eligible people who did not receive the monkeypox vaccine were about 14 times more likely to be infected with the virus than those who were vaccinated, according to federal government data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States.

This figure reflects the first wave of authoritative data collected by the Biden administration on the effectiveness of the monkeypox vaccine currently administered in the United States. The data marks an important milestone in the administration’s fight against monkeypox, especially given the unprecedented nature of this year’s outbreak.

“There have been limited data on the performance of the Jynneos monkeypox vaccine under real-world conditions,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. “These new data give us a level of optimism that the vaccine is working as expected.”

Several health officials have said the vaccine data is leading the administration to feel increasingly optimistic about the effectiveness of the two-dose Jynneos monkeypox vaccine – and the possibility of eventually eliminating the epidemic completely. current in the United States.

“We are cautiously optimistic about the study and believe that if we continue to distribute vaccines to those most at risk of disease, and if we continue to promote the behavior changes that we know work, that the combination of these two will allow us to continue to see a decrease in cases and hopefully eliminate the current outbreak of monkeypox in the United States,” a senior health official told CNN.

The official cautioned that there were some important caveats to the results. For example, the latest study cannot say to what extent changes in human behavior might be a factor for those vaccinated, they said.

“What it doesn’t allow us to do is fully disentangle the elements that may be elements of behavior change that may be related to sexual networks or who people come into contact with,” said the responsible. “We know that at the start of the monkeypox epidemic, many gay and bisexual men changed their behavior.”

There are also outstanding questions about the durability of the vaccine and the duration of protection. US health officials have seen protection against monkeypox for people vaccinated with Jynneos as early as two weeks after the first dose, but continue to press for everyone who is eligible to receive both doses of the vaccine schedule for maximum protection. .

“We know this is a two-dose vaccine and we continue to encourage people to get the second dose because all the previous studies have shown that when you get that second dose you have a stronger immune response. deep,” the official said. said.

Bob Fenton, the White House monkeypox response coordinator, said so far more than 800,000 doses of monkeypox vaccines have been administered.

The CDC estimates that 1.7 million gay and bisexual men in the United States are most at risk of catching monkeypox.

Recent case trends suggest that the monkeypox epidemic is slowing in the United States. According to data collected by the CDC, the daily average of new cases of monkeypox has been declining in the United States since mid-August, a sign that the vaccination campaign is working.

As of September 27, 25,300 cases of monkeypox have been diagnosed in all 50 states. The CDC announced Wednesday that it is expanding eligibility for the Jynneos monkeypox vaccine to include pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP.

“By expanding eligibility and moving to a PrEP strategy across the country, we seek to ensure that those most at risk for monkeypox receive the vaccine before exposure and that vaccines continue to be delivered. available equitably for those who need it,” Walensky said. .

The Biden administration is encouraging states and counties to leverage the money they received for sexually transmitted diseases and mental health to pay for their efforts to fight monkeypox.

The White House had asked Congress to approve $4.5 billion to fund the monkeypox response. But that request, along with a request for more money to fight Covid-19, was dropped from the latest version of a short-term funding bill that Congress hopes to pass this week to avoid a shutdown. of the government.

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