CDC warns of mpox rebound outbreak this summer while crediting vaccines for progress, promise

Amanda del Castillo Image
Thursday, May 18, 2023
CDC warns of summer mpox surge while crediting vaccines for progress
Doctors are pointing to summer Pride festivities as they warn of a potential mpox surge and share new data on the effectiveness of vaccines.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The CDC is sharing new data on the effectiveness of mpox, formerly known as monkeypox, vaccines.

Officials highlighted what they call the preventative power and progress made since the peak of the U.S. outbreak in August 2022.

Health officials are hoping to get the information out ahead of the summertime, pointing to concerns about the potential for increased risk.

The country's mpox outbreak is not over was a big reminder from the CDC. However, officials are commending continued public health efforts to improve vaccination and reduce health disparities.

RELATED: WHO renames monkeypox as 'mpox,' citing stigma and discrimination concerns

In a teleconference call Thursday morning, the CDC Mpox Response Incident Manager Dr. Christopher R. Braden and the White House National Mpox Response Deputy Coordinator Dr. Demetre Daskalakis combed through the numbers.

"The mpox outbreak occurred with little warning," Dr. Braden said. "(It) peaked in August with about 460 cases a day. Cases declined to an average of about one per day at this point. But the outbreak is not over."

He credited vaccinations and pointed to several studies which looked at estimates of vaccine effectiveness. One study found that two doses of the JYNNEOS vaccine were more than 88% effective against mpox.

"The more immunity that we have in the community, the lower the chance is to have any outbreaks," Dr. Daskalakis said. "Simply put, higher vaccination rates equal lower risk for an outbreak."

RELATED: San Francisco to end public health emergency on monkeypox Oct. 31

The CDC spelled out that in one year, more than 30,000 domestic mpox cases were reported across the US. More than 140,000 specimens were also tested, more than 1.2 million doses of vaccines were administered, and more than 6,900 patients were treated with tecovirimat.

UCSF's Dr. Peter Chin-Hong weighed in, stressing the importance of the second dose of the vaccine.

"There hasn't been much resistance to getting that first vaccine, but I would say that it's been disappointing that a lot of people haven't gotten the second dose," Dr. Chin-Hong told ABC7 News. "And again, enough time has elapsed, where I think that second dose is going to be really important for people to get."

The CDC is looking to get the information out ahead of the summertime, with concern about the potential for increased risk. Adding, the data around vaccine effectiveness and preventative power is substantial in any step toward ending mpox transmission in the United States.

Dr. Chin-Hong pointed to Pride festivities on the horizon.

"Men who have sex with men, who can benefit from HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis, plus men who have sex with men who are living with HIV- with that of 25% correction factor really takes us to a denominator of about 1.7 million individuals who can benefit from vaccines," Dr. Daskalakis said.

Now Streaming 24/7 Click Here

If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live