Most Americans do not have to worry about contracting monkeypox right now, authors say. But we cannot discount the possibility that it becomes a broader threat, they say. Monkeypox is very different from the coronavirus, which is an extremely contagious respiratory pathogen. Those who should be on high alert for monkeypox are men who have sex with men and who have multiple or anonymous sex partners. Those not in this high-risk group do not need to seek the monkeypox vaccine or change their daily lives to avoid this virus yet. Preventing this virus from taking hold and spreading broadly must be a top focus, the authors say. So far, no one in the United States has died from monkeypox, though some have been hospitalized.
The Biden administration has said that it will procure many more monkeypox vaccine doses. While the CDC estimates that 1.5 million Americans are eligible, so far only 300,000 doses of the two-dose vaccine have been shipped. The CDC should prioritize first vaccine doses so more people can have some protection faster.