Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra told Just the News that the U.S. has over 1 million monkeypox vaccines "in hand" with "several more million" on the way.
According to NBC News, the U.S. government didn't order additional monkeypox "vaccine doses to add to its stockpile until June, even though the virus started spreading in May." This resulted in a vaccine shortage as the monkeypox outbreak worsened.
During an interview at the White House on Wednesday, Becerra was asked for a status update on monkeypox vaccine distribution after President Biden declared it a national emergency.
FDA Commissioner Robert Califf "gave us the great news," Becerra said, "that safely and effectively we can take those doses of vaccine that we have, over a million in hand, and several million more on the way, and we can actually, working with our local health authority partners, increase that fivefold, for those vaccines."
"So that's great news for folks who are trying to get vaccinated," he continued, "great news for jurisdictions that are seeking more vaccines, and great news, quite honestly, for public health, because this is a great opportunity for us to make sure we stay ahead of monkeypox."
Becerra named "coordination" when asked what he sees as the top lesson learned during the COVID pandemic that should be applied to monkeypox as it continues to spread.
"When you have a patchwork of healthcare systems, public health systems, where every state controls their public health, you've got to work together to seamlessly bring together a response that gets to everybody," he said.