HHS response to the monkeypox outbreak

July 22, 2022
HHS is working to combat monkeypox.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has distributed nearly 200,000 JYNNEOS vaccines in recent weeks, accelerated the inspection of approximately 800,000 vaccines for delivery this summer while procuring millions more for delivery in mid-2023, and ensured that tens of thousands of tests per week would be available to physicians and patients.

Over the coming days and weeks, HHS will continue to strengthen and accelerate its strategy on combatting monkeypox and work closely with public health officials and stakeholders in high-risk communities to get vaccines, testing, and treatments out to communities across the country:

  • Delivering vaccines to jurisdictions while significantly increasing supply: Within days of the first confirmed case, HHS began delivering vaccines to states and jurisdictions in need. Simultaneously it took decisive steps to increase future vaccine supply. To date, HHS has made 374,000 vaccine doses available for ordering and delivered over 191,000 of those doses to state and city health departments for free.  When factoring in doses already delivered to the SNS, those pending at the supplier, and replacement doses, the federal government will have access to more than 6.9 million doses by mid-2023.
  • Increasing available testing through commercial labs: Due to prompt Federal action, testing capacity has also rapidly increased from 6,000 tests per week at the beginning of the outbreak to up to 80,000 tests per week today.
  • Making treatment courses available for free: Prior to the start of the outbreak, the SNS held more than 1.7 million courses of TPOXX, or tecovirimat, in its immediate holdings. These treatments have and continue to be made available to states and territories for free.
  • Educating the public and engaging key stakeholders: CDC and partners across HHS and other Federal agencies have conducted extensive outreach to key stakeholder groups, including working with community health partners and trusted messengers share critical information. An intensive effort has been made to ensure communication with the LGBTQI+ community in multiple cities that have experienced the most cases thus far.
  • Adjusting vaccine allocation strategy: HHS has allocated vaccine to states and cities based on both the case burden and the size of the underlying population at highest risk of severe disease and infection. In its most recent vaccine allocation to states and cities, HHS revised its allocation formula to be more reflective of case burden, shifting from a 50% case burden and 50% at-risk model to a 75% case burden and 25% at-risk allocation in order to be most responsive to those communities experiencing the greatest impacts of the virus. HHS will continue to adapt the vaccine allocation strategy with each phase of vaccine allocation and distribution.
  • Increasing Vaccine Supply: With the required inspection of the Bavarian Nordic fill-and finish facility now completed, ensuring the high-quality production that is required for vaccines, FDA has permitted the manufacturer to begin shipping a portion of the 786,000 doses immediately while the final FDA approval is provided.  
  • Making treatments more accessible: CDC recently posted information clarifying the current TPOXX ordering process, making it clear that documentation required to obtain TPOXX can be submitted after clinicians receive the drug and begin patient treatment. CDC and FDA are also working to streamline the post-order documentation requirements to remove barriers to clinicians prescribing treatment to those in need.

HHS release