Public likely won't need 15-jab monkeypox vaccine

Of the two FDA-approved smallpox vaccines, Jynneos and ACAM2000, only one has more than 100 million doses ready. Unfortunately for the public, it's the inoculation that requires 15 jabs "vigorous enough" to draw blood, according to the FDA. However, experts say many factors will keep it from being the first line of defense against spread of monkeypox.

The U.S. ordered 500,000 cases of Jynneos, the newer smallpox and monkeypox vaccine that the CDC said requires two shots, but the shipment won't be ready until later this year. This leaves Emergent BioSolutions' ACAM2000 vaccine — delivered in a single dose via 15 pokes with a two-pronged needle — as the most available option. 

"It's oozy; it's nasty; it definitely doesn't feel good," Kelsey Cone, PhD, a virologist at Salt Lake City-based ARUP Laboratories who received the vaccine about 12 years ago, told The Atlantic on June 14. 

ACAM2000 could also do more harm than good because it carries an active virus, which poses dangers for people who are immunocompromised, pregnant or have HIV, The Atlantic reported. Because of this risk and the relatively small number of infections, Americans likely won't be waiting in line at mass immunization sites like they did for COVID-19. 

Unlike the coronavirus, monkeypox isn't airborne. The virus is also unlikely to meet pandemic proportions, the World Health Organization said May 30. As of June 14, there have been 72 reported cases of monkeypox in the U.S. across 18 states — a 47 percent increase from the 49 cases reported June 8, according to CDC data

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