The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is calling on gay men and individuals at high risk from mpox to ensure they are fully vaccinated to prevent a potential resurgence of the virus during the summer months. This advisory comes in response to a recent cluster of mpox cases reported in the Chicago area, where several individuals who contracted the virus were partially or fully vaccinated, raising concerns about the possible waning of immunity over time.
Despite breakthrough cases, the CDC emphasizes that vaccination significantly reduces the risk of catching and spreading the disease, as well as the severity of illness, hospitalization, and death. It is acknowledged that no vaccine is perfect, but two doses offer much greater protection compared to a single dose. The effectiveness of the Jynneos vaccine against mpox has been reported differently in various studies, ranging from 36% to 88% for two doses, but all studies confirm the clear benefit of receiving both doses.
The mpox outbreak, primarily affecting gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men, has seen more than 30,000 cases and 42 deaths reported in the United States since May 2022. However, new cases have significantly declined since the peak in August, although the recent cluster in Chicago raises concerns of a potential resurgence during the summer.
To mitigate the risk of renewed outbreaks, it is crucial to increase vaccination rates among the approximately 1.7 million people at the highest risk from mpox, particularly gay and bisexual men living with HIV or taking pre-exposure prophylaxis drugs. Vaccination plays a crucial role in preventing the spread of the virus and protecting vulnerable populations.
As the CDC continues to monitor the situation and conduct studies on vaccine effectiveness, the message remains clear: two doses of the mpox vaccine are better than one, and vaccination remains a critical tool in combating the virus and preventing future outbreaks.
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