HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – Fever, body aches, chills, fatigue, and pimple-like bumps on parts of the body are the symptoms of monkeypox.
On Thursday, the Biden administration officially declared monkeypox a public health emergency. Doctors said this health emergency is not like COVID-19.
“It’s not a huge concern, okay, this is not COVID. This is going to be much more straight forward to try to contain with some changes in behavior, and we do have a vaccine that is highly effective. And this is an old vaccine, so this is a vaccine that’s been around for a very long time and very understood. We just don’t have enough of it,” said W. Mark Horne, the Chief Medical Officer at the South Central Regional Medical Center (SCRMC).
Horne said people must be in close contact in order for it to spread. Doses of the vaccine will be used in a targeted fashion to try to spare already limited supplies. As supplies grow, the government then plans to vaccinate at-risk groups.
The White House noted it has made more than 1.1 million doses available and has boosted testing to 80,000 tests per week. Doctors said the vaccine isn’t new.
“Smallpox vaccinations ended in the early 1970s. My understanding, I think I was one of the last of the boomer generation to get that routinely. There has just not been a lot of call for this type of vaccine. It’s been around for quite sometime. It’s well understood technology, and from my understanding, this is a modernized version of a very old vaccine,” said Horne.
The Department of Health and Human Services said they will be sending more vaccinations out as soon as August 15, 2022. Their target now is connecting with people through community based organizations.