A panel of 18 experts has recommended vaccinating adults at risk of catching smallpox as a preventative measure.
Adults above the age of 18 would be urged to get vaccinated if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention decides to adopt the advice.
Dr. Melinda Wharton, associate director for vaccine policy at the CDC, told CNN, “The recent outbreak has once again brought attention to the risks that infectious diseases can pose to our communities, the significance of a strong state and local public health response, the importance of partners and communities that are engaged in responding to public health threats, and the role that vaccines can play in containing outbreaks.”
The vote occurred after an outbreak of mpox spread across the United States in the summer of 2022 and resurfaced in countries where no instances had been documented for decades.
The Jynneos mpox vaccine, a two-dose therapy with an 83% effectiveness rate, was licensed for emergency use in August when almost 450 new cases per day were being reported. The greatest number of cases were documented among sexually active gay and bisexual individuals.
Even though the number of daily recorded cases has decreased significantly since the previous summer to barely two per day, it is still far greater than what the United States has reported in recent years.
Dr. Agam Rao, a medical officer in the CDC’s Division of High Consequence Pathogens and Pathology, stated, “We do not believe that this outbreak is done, and that is really essential to remember.”