CDC Advisors Say High-Risk Men Should Still Get MPox Vaccine

THURSDAY, Oct. 26, 2023 (HealthDay News) – High-risk men should still get their mpox vaccinations even after the ongoing outbreak ends, advisors to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended Wednesday. 

That vulnerable group includes men who have sex with men; people who have more than one sexual partner; those who have recently had a sexually transmitted disease; and people who are at higher risk for infections through sexual contact for other reasons. 

CDC Director Mandy Cohen will still need to sign off on that recommendation, which came during a meeting of the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. 

The virus, formerly called monkeypox, is in the same family of viruses as smallpox and is endemic in parts of Africa.

About 800 cases of mpox have been reported in the United States in 2023, compared to 30,000 last year, according to the CDC. In 2022, cases spread widely among men who have sex with men in Europe and the United States.

Now, the daily average of new cases is one to four per day. Two deaths were reported in September, while a total of 54 have died in the U.S. outbreaks, the Associated Press reported. Many suffered painful lesions for weeks.

In San Francisco, where there were more than 800 cases last year, the numbers are now much lower although they vary. In August, there were seven, in September there were 20 and this month has had at least 10 known cases, the AP reported. 

To stem the spread of mpox, the two-dose Jynneos vaccine has been distributed to more than 500,000 people in the United States. Still, about 2 million people are eligible for the shot, according to the CDC.

“Things are much better than they were last summer,” Dr. Stephanie Cohen, medical director of the San Francisco City Clinic, which handles STD cases, and an assistant professor in the division of infectious diseases at the University of California, San Francisco, told the AP. “But there are [still] many more cases than there should be.” 

More information

The World Health Organization has more on mpox.

SOURCE: Associated Press

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