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Blumenthal calls for federal action to increase monkeypox vaccine production in Connecticut

Blumenthal - MonkeyPox.jpg
Michael Lyle, Jr.
U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut calls on the federal government to increase the supply of monkeypox vaccines during a news conference outside Hartford Hospital Monday in Hartford.

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) is calling on the federal government to increase the supply of monkeypox vaccines.

Five more cases were identified in Connecticut since Friday, bringing the total to 33.

Blumenthal said the federal government must effectively address the outbreak before it becomes just as severe as the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Prevention is the coin of the realm when you're talking about infectious disease,” Blumenthal said from a news conference held outside Hartford Hospital. “It will save money in the long term to invest now.”

Blumenthal sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services asking to ensure that vaccines, tests and treatments are made available and accessible to the communities that need them.

Meanwhile, State Health Commissioner Manisha Juthani said her request to the federal government for over 4,000 additional doses of the monkeypox vaccine is expected to be delivered soon, but there will likely be a need for more.

“We know that people do travel to New York and we’re going to continue to try to educate people on things they can do to protect themselves other than the vaccine,” said Juthani. “It’s the only piece of the prevention tool box that we’ve got.”

Thirteen clinics opened across Connecticut onDepartment of Public Health websiteMonday to administer doses of the vaccine to eligible residents.

More information about access to the vaccine can be found on the state Department of Public Health website, or by calling 2-1-1.

Mike Lyle is a former reporter and host at WSHU.