US Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra announced today that he will declare the current spread of the monkeypox virus in the United States a Public Health Emergency (PHE). This action will further strengthen and accelerate the Biden-Harris administration’s response in recognition of the continued rapid transmission of monkeypox in the US and globally, and to signal the seriousness and urgency with which the administration is responding. The announcement comes after President Biden named Robert Fenton of the Federal Emergency Management Agency as the White House National Coordinator for the Monkey Pox Response and Dr. Demetre Daskalakis of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the Deputy White House National Coordinator for the Monkey Pox Response .
“Ending the monkeypox epidemic is a key priority for the Biden-Harris administration. We are taking our response to the next level by declaring a public health emergency,” said Secretary Becerra. “With today’s statement, we can further strengthen and accelerate our response.”
“President Biden has urged us to explore every option on the table to combat the monkeypox epidemic and protect vulnerable communities,” said White House National Monkeypox Response Coordinator Robert Fenton. “We are applying the lessons learned from the battles we have fought – from the response to COVID-19 to wildfires to measles, and we will tackle this epidemic with the urgency this moment demands.”
The PHE declaration is in line with work by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to explore new strategies that could help get vaccines to affected communities across the country, including using a new dose-saving approach that could increase the number of doses available, up to fivefold .
The public health emergency also has important implications for sharing data with the federal government. Fifty-one jurisdictions have already signed data-use agreements that will provide the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with information related to vaccine administration. The declaration of a state of emergency may justify the remaining jurisdictions having to sign their agreements. In addition, it provides authority to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid services to collect data on testing and hospitalization.
As of today, HHS has shipped more than 602,000 doses of the JYNNEOS vaccine to states and jurisdictions, an increase of 266,000 last week. In total, HHS has allocated 1.1 million doses to states and jurisdictions and is making more doses available as jurisdictions use their current supplies. HHS also announced today that it has expedited the delivery of an additional 150,000 doses that will arrive in the US next month. The doses, which were supposed to arrive in November, will now arrive in the US in September.
Today’s announcements are part of the Biden-Harris administration’s comprehensive strategy to combat the monkeypox epidemic. The strategy includes significantly increasing vaccine production and availability, expanding testing capacity and facilitating testing, reducing the burden on access to treatment, and conducting strong outreach to stakeholders and members of LGBTQI+ communities.
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For general media inquiries, contact media@hhs. See the article : NYC Department of Health Monkeypox Vaccine Strategy and Priority for First Doses.gov.
Content created by Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs (ASPA) Content was last reviewed on August 4, 2022.