Biden administration proposes changing how monkeypox vaccine is administered

Via Wisconsin Examiner:

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration began encouraging health care providers Tuesday to change the way they’re administering vaccines to protect against monkeypox, in an attempt to stretch out doses fivefold. 

The latest shift in strategy comes as the administration races to curtail the spread of the virus, which jumped from 778 cases one month ago on July 9 to 9,493 diagnosed as of Tuesday. The upswing in cases has left many local health departments scrambling to keep up with demand for the vaccine. 

By administering the Jynneos vaccine just under the skin, or intradermally, instead of below the layers of fat in the arm, or subcutaneously, officials said they expect health care workers will be able to get up to five doses out of every vial, instead of the current one-vial-one-dose approach. 

Children will still be given the two-dose vaccine subcutaneously.

“As part of the alternative approach under the [Emergency Use Authorization] one-fifth of the current vaccine dose would be administered intradermally, rather than subcutaneously as the vaccine was originally approved,” U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Robert M. Califf said Tuesday. 

A clinical study of the Jynneos vaccine published before its approval in 2019 showed a similar immune response for people given one-fifth of the dose intradermally as to those given the full dose subcutaneously, Califf said. 

Those who received the vaccine intradermally did experience some mild side effects, including redness, firmness, itchiness and swelling at the injection site, but those “were all manageable,” Califf said. 

If a person got their first vaccine dose subcutaneously, the FDA recommendation is that they get their second dose intradermally, Califf said.

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