Biden admin considers declaring monkeypox a public health emergency after first reports of cases found in US children

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Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House Covid response coordinator, said the Biden administration is considering declaring monkeypox a public health emergency that will help unlock federal financial assistance in response to the outbreak. This comes after the WHO declared monkeypox a global health emergency on Saturday, as well as pressure from Congress and the first confirmed cases of monkeypox in children in the US.

“There’s no final decision on this that I’m aware of,” Jha told reporters on Friday. “It’s an ongoing, but a very active conversation at HHS.”

The CDC is investigating the first two cases of monkeypox that have been identified in children in the US The two cases are unrelated and probably the result of household transmission, the CDC said. One case is a toddler who is a resident of California. The other is an infant who is not a US resident.

So far, the US has shipped more than 300,000 doses of the monkeypox vaccine to city and state health departments, said Jha. The FDA is in the process of authorizing an additional 786,000 doses awaiting distribution in the US.

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