As Philadelphia monkeypox outbreak grows, city unveils public tracking dashboard

Vials of monkeypox vaccine. (6abc)

Vials of monkeypox vaccine. (6abc)

The monkeypox outbreak in Philadelphia has grown to 82 cases, but more vaccines are on the way, according to city health officials.

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health launched a public digital dashboard Monday with the latest monkeypox case counts and vaccine availability. The local outbreak is part of a global public health emergency, with non-endemic outbreaks occurring in 72 countries.

In a news release, city health officials said the new dashboard is intended to “provide transparency and easier access into the number of Philadelphia residents that are considered to have monkeypox.”

Case counts will be updated every Monday on the city health department’s website.

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Anyone can contract monkeypox, which can cause flu-like symptoms, lesions, or a rash. The current global outbreak has disproportionately affected men who have sex with men.

The city’s new dashboard provides a look at vaccine availability, which has so far remained limited.

To date, Philadelphia has received 2,625 doses of the vaccine that was originally designed to prevent smallpox and has shown to be effective against monkeypox. More than half of that supply –1,613 doses – have already been administered to high-risk residents.

Another 690 doses have been distributed to community health providers and clinics, which have administered vaccines to existing patients at high risk of contracting the virus.

“Given the widespread desire for access to monkeypox vaccine, this type of information will provide better insight into numbers of cases and available doses during any given week and help explain why it may be so difficult to secure a dose,” said health department officials in a statement.

Philadelphia expects to receive another 6,020 vaccine doses from the federal government between now and the fall. Those will be divided into three shipments, the first of which will be about 2,420 doses.

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