Department of Health and Human Services Failed to ask for vaccine supplies The New York Times reported on Wednesday that deliveries were pushed back to the end of this year, in order to stem the increasing growth of monkeypox in the early days of the outbreak.
Biden administration officials told the newspaper that by the time the federal government placed an order for the vaccine from a manufacturer in Denmark, the company had already made bookings for other customers in countries dealing with its outbreak of the disease.
The Times said the US, which has invested more than $1 billion in vaccine development, will only be able to deliver 1.1 million doses in the coming weeks, up from 3.5 million health officials say. An additional 500,000 doses are expected in the US in October, but millions more doses on order will not be delivered until sometime in 2023.
The US currently has the highest number of confirmed monkeypox cases in the world since the first case was identified in May. there are more than 6,600 known infections, with more than a third occurring in New York and California. Cases so far have almost exclusively affected gay and bisexual men, but health officials say anyone can contract monkeypox, which is mainly spread through close physical contact.
There are no deaths from monkeypox in the US
The Biden administration has been criticized for stumbling in its response to the outbreak. America Once there were about 20 million doses Vaccines stored in the freezer, but allowed to expire without refilling. Hundreds of thousands of vials were sitting in Denmark in May when the outbreak hit US shores, but it took weeks for the government to request most of them.
Delivery delays are presenting a new struggle that reflects the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. The US effectively owns about 16.5 million doses of the vaccine stored in Denmark by manufacturer Bavarian Nordic, the Times reports. But the highly specialized process of obtaining those supplements in individual doses from bulk storage sites is limited, and other countries ordered the manufacturer to do so before the US did.
Officials expect a home construction company to speed up the deadline, but still expect it to take months to get a plant on board.
The effort comes amid mounting criticism that the US is not doing enough to stop the spread of the disease quickly. Several states – New York, California and Illinois – have declared public health emergencies due to the monkeypox outbreak, and the supply of the vaccine is far behind the demand.
Many high-risk people have struggled to find appointments, and some states have opted to give patients only one of the recommended two-dose regimens to further expand their vaccine supply.
President Joe Biden tapped two senior emergency response officers To manage the government’s handling of the monkeypox outbreak. The White House called on Robert Fenton, a regional administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the agency’s former executive chief, as White House monkeypox coordinator. Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, head of the Department of HIV Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will serve as his deputy.