While countries are gradually opening up to international visitors and the pandemic is almost behind us, it’s clear we’ve learned a lesson from these past years: More than ever, traveling today requires taking health precautions. Actually, it’s fair to say that people travel more responsibly nowadays than ever before.
However, some current health concerns deserve special attention. Monkeypox is one of them. A vaccination campaign against the disease is underway in the United States, and we have news to share.
What Do We Know about Monkeypox Vaccination in The US?
Monkeypox is currently spreading across the United States. Last Friday, the CDC reported 7,510 Monkeypox cases across every State except Montana and Wyoming.
Since May, the government has shipped over 602,000 doses of Jynneos Monkeypox vaccines across the country. Jynneos is the only Monkeypox vaccine approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. Over 100,000 vaccines have been delivered to some of the most affected areas, following the announcement of a public health emergency last week.
As of August 4, New York City received the most Monkeypox vaccines: 124,644 doses, with an additional 46,026 doses shipped to New York state.
In California, second in Monkeypox cases, 178,251 vaccines were distributed, including 71,102 doses to Los Angeles.
Florida and Illinois have received 109,284 and 72,381 doses respectively.
Although the federal government expects to distribute 1.1 million vaccines, there are still shortages in several major cities. As a result, it is possible that the U.S. may soon face a “vaccine cliff.”
Why? Well, the only biotech company producing Monkeypox vaccines, Bavarian Nordic in Denmark, hasn’t been operational for years. Additionally, the vaccine doses it produced before closing are currently frozen.
Bavarian Nordic estimates it will take at least half a year to reach the vaccine distribution goals the federal government imposed. However, not everything is gloomy: the WHO says there are 16 million doses of the vaccine available now to contain this outbreak.
Until further news is available, remember to take the following Monkeypox prevention measures:
- Stay away from people with symptoms, such as rashes
- Avoid handling infected materials
- Observe and isolate people who have Monkeypox
- Wash your hands thoroughly, especially after having contact with an infected person or animal
- Avoid animals that may carry the virus, such as prairie dogs
Moreover, don’t forget that COVID is still a concern in the US. If you’re planning to travel across the States, check out the CDC’s heat map and take precautions.
Now, let’s see what is going on with COVID around the world.
This Week’s Global COVID-19 News
China has imposed new COVID-19 restrictions:
- Following an increase in cases, the city of Yiwu has ordered the closure of some areas and multiple entertainment venues, and suspended some public gatherings and restaurants. The city also conducted mass testing on August 4
- Hainan province closed numerous areas on August 8
- The tourist resort of Sanya imposed a lockdown and restricted transport links on Saturday
- In Macau SAR, residents had to conduct COVID-19 testing for two days,
- : If 4% or 8% of passengers test positive on a route with an identified COVID case, flights will be suspended for one week
Hong Kong Relaxes COVID Quarantine Rules for Inbound Travelers
Despite Hong Kong being one of the few places to still require quarantines for inbound travelers, quarantine periods have been reduced to three days for all arrivals.
New arrivals will still have to self-monitor for another four days. During this period, they are banned from restaurants and bars.
While we await news about Monkeypox and updates to travel regulations for the countries we intend to visit, let’s not forget to take care of ourselves and those we love. Travel safely by following standard precautions. Washing your hands frequently and getting tested are two simple ways to make a difference.
Want to get tested before your next trip? Check out COVID-19 testing locations near you.