Xavier Becerra, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said on Thursday that he will declare a public health emergency due to the continuous spread of the monkeypox virus in the country (PHE).
As a result of the continued fast spread of monkeypox in the United States and around the world, this measure will strengthen and expedite the Biden-Harris Administration’s response and demonstrate the severity and urgency of the Administration’s reaction.
The announcement follows President Biden’s appointment of Dr. Demetre Daskalakis of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as White House National Monkeypox Response Deputy Coordinator and Robert Fenton of the Federal Emergency Management Agency as White House National Monkeypox Response Coordinator.
The Biden-Harris administration has a top priority of ending the monkeypox outbreak.
By establishing a public health emergency, we are stepping up our response, according to Secretary Becerra. “With today’s announcement, we can reinforce and expedite our response even further.”
President Biden has urged us to consider all available options in order to stop the monkeypox outbreak and safeguard at-risk communities, according to Robert Fenton, the White House’s national monkeypox response coordinator.
From the COVID reaction to wildfires to the measles, “We are applying lessons gained from the wars we’ve fought and will confront this outbreak with the urgency this time needs.”
The PHE declaration works in tandem with the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) efforts to investigate new tactics that may aid in getting vaccines to affected communities across the nation, including using a novel dose-sparing approach that may increase the number of doses available by up to five times.
The sharing of data with the federal government is significantly impacted by the public health emergency. 51 jurisdictions have already signed data usage agreements that will send data on vaccination administration to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The reason required for the other jurisdictions to sign their agreements may be provided by designating the epidemic as an emergency. Additionally, it gives the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services permission to gather information on tests and hospitalizations.
JYNNEOS vaccination doses have already been distributed to states and other jurisdictions in excess of 602,000 times, an increase of 266,000 over the previous week.
HHS has allotted 1.1 million doses to states and jurisdictions in total, and when jurisdictions use their present supply, new doses become available. Additionally, HHS revealed on Thursday that it had sped up the delivery of an extra 150,000 doses, which will reach the United States next month. The doses, which were supposed to arrive in the United States in November, will now do so in September.
The announcements made on Thursday are a part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s all-encompassing plan to contain the monkeypox outbreak.
The plan calls for dramatically increasing vaccine manufacturing and accessibility, increasing testing capacity and convenience, lowering barriers to treatment access, and engaging heavily with stakeholders and LGBTQI+ community members.