FRIDAY, July 15, 2022 (HealthDay News) — With monkeypox cases continuing to climb in the United States, federal health officials said Friday they have ordered another 2.5 million doses of monkeypox vaccine and boosted national testing capacity to respond to the outbreak.

As of July 14, 1,470 cases of monkeypox have been identified in 44 jurisdictions in the United States, and that number will keep rising, officials said. The majority of cases are occurring among gay and bisexual men.

“We are working around the clock to increase supply [of vaccines] and make sure we’re reaching those most at risk. And I’m pleased to share that we’re making a lot of progress,” Dawn O’Connell, assistant secretary for preparedness and response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said during a Friday media briefing. “In summary, we have purchased nearly 7 million doses of Jynneos [monkeypox vaccine]. We have received approximately 372,000 of those doses. And as of yesterday, we have delivered approximately 156,000 doses to states and jurisdictions, with the additional doses available today for ordering.”

In addition to ordering more vaccines, the Biden administration is working to increase the availability of monkeypox testing nationwide by partnering with five commercial testing companies, according to an HHS news release. Since the outbreak began, testing capacity has increased to 70,000 per week — up from 6,000.

“Now, as we closely monitor cases, I would like you to all understand that we anticipate an increase in cases in the coming weeks, and this is for three main reasons,” Rochelle Walensky, M.D., director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said during the briefing. “First, at CDC we have transitioned our case reporting to states to a much shorter, streamlined reporting form, which will make it quicker and easier for states to report cases in real time.”

“Second, with more cases in the United States now, we expect to start to see the resulting exposure from these cases in the coming weeks. We know monkeypox symptoms usually start within three weeks of exposure to the virus, so we anticipate we may see an increase in cases throughout the month of July and into August,” Walensky added. “And finally, we have significantly increased the number of people seeking laboratory tests and the number of specimens being submitted for testing. In fact, since July 6, our laboratory response network has seen a 76 percent increase in the number of tests.”

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