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U.S. signs off on 800,000 more doses of monkeypox vaccine

Empty vials of vaccines against Monkeypox lie on a table after being used to vaccinate people at a medical center in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, July 26, 2022.
AP
Empty vials of vaccines against Monkeypox lie on a table after being used to vaccinate people at a medical center in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, July 26, 2022.

Health regulators say nearly 800,000 doses of monkeypox vaccine will soon be available for U.S. distribution.

The Wednesday announcement follows weeks of delays and growing criticism that authorities have been too slow in deploying the shots.

The Food and Drug Administration needed to inspect and certify the standards of a Danish manufacturing plant where the doses are manufactured. The agency said two weeks ago that the inspection had been completed, but the final go-ahead came Wednesday.

U.S. health officials say they will announce allocation plans on Thursday.

Health departments in San Francisco and other major cities say they still don’t have enough shots to meet demand.

Meantime, Africa's public health agency says the continent still does not have a single dose of the monkeypox vaccine even though it’s the only continent to have documented deaths from the disease that’s newly declared a global emergency.

The acting head of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention described a situation where the African continent of 1.3 billion people is again being left behind in access to doses in an uncomfortable echo of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The World Health Organization last week declared monkeypox a global health emergency. To date, more than 20,000 cases have been reported in 77 countries. More than 2,100 monkeypox cases have been recorded in 11 African countries and 75 people have died.

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