The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has put out its first vaccine guidance related to a recent outbreak of monkeypox cases across the U.S. and Europe – with health workers and others responding to the uptick in cases first in line to get the shots.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), the CDC’s leading experts on vaccines, issued the recommendation Friday, and it will include lab workers who research orthopoxviruses, people who work in lab testing environments, and health care personnel who are treating infected patients.
The JYNNEOS vaccine in question is tailored to both smallpox and monkeypox – just as many other smallpox drugs are also believed to be effective against the rare virus.
‘Certain laboratorians and health care personnel can be exposed to orthopoxviruses through occupational activities,’ ACIP wrote in its report.
The panel notes that orthopoxvirus vaccines, like JYNNEOS, were regularly distributed to children in the U.S. to combat smallpox in the past.
Smallpox, a highly devastating, deadly, virus, was eradicated in 1980, though, and use of the vaccines has since been dropped from mandatory to scarce.
Officials still recommend that some parts of the population do continue to receive the shots, though, including people who may be exposed to these viruses at work.
America has a stockpile of over 1,000 doses of the two-dose vaccine in place for a situation like this.