Local doctors call for increases in monkeypox testing, vaccinations

BOSTON – As monkeypox cases continue to climb, local doctors are calling for increased testing and vaccination efforts. 

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health releases monkeypox data weekly. As of Thursday, the state reported 157 confirmed cases of monkeypox. That number is up by 42 cases from the week before. 

Overall, there are 6,617 confirmed cases in the United States. 

Vaccination efforts nationwide have been criticized as slow and lack luster. The federal government said it had a limited supply of the JYNNEOS vaccine in its stockpile and has been forced to order more from a supplier in Denmark. 

The Department of Health and Human Services said it has received and is working to distribute the more than one million doses they have purchased. 

Massachusetts has requested a total of 26,271 doses and so far, has been sent 16,251 doses of that allotment. 

The state’s Department of Public Health reported it had administered 5,875 of those doses as of August 3rd. 

“We have passed the point of containment,” said Dr. Alysse Wurcel, an infectious disease doctor at Tufts Medical Center. She said this virus is spreading before our eyes. “It is just sort of spreading in a way that we had not anticipated, and we were not prepared for,” said Wurcel. 

Wurcel said she wants to see more effort placed on expanding testing. Although the virus is drastically different than the coronavirus, the parallels of the struggles to contain it are hard to ignore. 

“I think we have learned some lessons, but we haven’t necessarily shown that we have learned those lessons,” said Wurcel. 

Right now, Massachusetts has 14 locations administering the vaccine. Patients are encouraged to call to schedule an appointment. 

As of now, the state is prioritizing first doses in an effort to get more people some level of protection.  

It’s a strategy states like Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Connecticut, and Rhode Island are also pursuing. 

Source : https://www.cbsnews.com/boston/news/boston-doctors-call-increases-monkeypox-testing-vaccinations/

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