WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. government will distribute 296,000 monkey box vaccines to people from national reserves in the coming weeks. Vaccines are assigned to two states and territories, such as Guam and Puerto Rico. U.S. health officials said the breakdown was based on population size and “serious disease risk.”
Of the doses, 56,000 will be allocated immediately and the rest will be followed in the coming weeks. These are ginseng type vaccines. They can be given to “exposed” individuals. Until recently, monkey flu vaccines were only available in the United States to those who were shown to be infected with the virus. By the end of the year, even 1.6 million doses should be available.
The United States has so far reported 306 cases of monkey box, a viral infection associated with enlargement that causes painful skin lesions. Although the virus has spread to only a few parts of Africa, the current virus is generally affecting non-infected countries. Thus, there are fears that it could spread further.
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