Americans flock to Canada for monkeypox vaccine

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With the shortage of the monkeypox vaccine in the United States (US), many US residents are flocking to nearby country Canada for vaccination.

Confirmed monkeypox cases in the US have exceeded the mark of 10 000, reaching 11 177 cases Friday, according to the data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the country’s national public health agency.

The confirmed cases in the country still account for almost 30% of the global count – 31 800 so far, even though the country’s population is just under five percent of the world population.

The Biden administration early this month declared monkeypox a public health emergency. Yet many said that the US authorities acted too slow and were not meeting the demand for vaccines as the number of cases continued to grow.

Monkeypox explained with Prof. Adrian Puren:

“It has been hard. I was here yesterday, and there was like four blocks long, so I just turned around and left. This morning, my ticket is like number 525. So it has been a challenge,” said residents in San Francisco queuing for the monkeypox vaccine.

A report from the New York Times said that health experts estimated that the US will need 3.5 million monkeypox vaccines to control the outbreak of the virus. Now the government only secured 1.1 million vaccines, and half of them won’t be delivered until October. The other 5.5 million vaccines ordered by the US government are not scheduled to be delivered until next year.

As it is difficult to get vaccinated in the States, many US residents are eying Montreal in Canada to get their shots.

The Canadian city, only 70 kilometers north of the US-Canada border, started to provide monkeypox vaccines since mid-May. So far, Montreal has administrated 18,500 doses of vaccines, and 13% of them were received by foreigners.

The World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared on July 23 that the current multi-country monkeypox outbreak outside of the traditional endemic areas in Africa has already turned into a public health emergency of international concern.

Monkeypox, first detected in laboratory monkeys in 1958, is believed to transmit from wild animals such as rodents to people, or from human to human. Multiple clusters of the monkeypox virus have been reported within the past few weeks in several European countries and North America, which are regions where the virus is not normally found.

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