WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The White House Monkeypox Response Team held a briefing today to discuss the latest developments around the disease and the administration’s efforts to combat it.
“There have been nearly 17,000 cases of monkeypox identified across all 50 states,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said.
The Biden administration updated its approach to the monkeypox outbreak as the U.S becomes the global leader in infections.
“While we continue to deliver as much vaccines to states and jurisdictions as possible, our focus has to be getting those shots into arms,” White House Monkeypox Response Coordinator, Bob Fenton said.
So far the administration has rolled out more than one million vials of the vaccine as part of a four-part strategy.
“By the end of phase four, we will have provided enough vials to states and jurisdictions to provide more than three million doses of vaccines,” Preparedness and Response Assistant Secretary Dawn O’Connell said.
Still, the administration says some communities aren’t doing enough to take advantage of the available supply.
“With supply of vaccines increasing, I think we have a new opportunity and strategy which is bringing vaccines to people as opposed to trying to have people find vaccines,” White House Deputy Monkeypox Response Coordinator Dr. Demetre Daskalakis said.
The outbreak is showing signs of cooling down in hot spots like New York City and Chicago. However, health officials say there is reason to remain vigilant.
“Week over week, our numbers are still increasing, though the rate of rise is lower, but we are still seeing increases and we are of course a very diverse country and things are not even across the country,” Walensky said.
So far no one has died from monkeypox in the U.S, but deaths have been reported outside the country.