Wisconsin works to distribute monkeypox vaccine to areas where risk is highest, health department says

Via Wisconsin Examiner:

Wisconsin’s public health providers are working to distribute vaccines to guard against monkeypox, the viral illness that has become the subject of a national public health emergency. The  initial focus is on people thought to be most at risk for the illness.

The vaccine, which the federal government has been distributing as clusters of the illness have broken out in the U.S. and worldwide, is being sent to designated hubs in Eau Claire, Green Bay, Madison and Milwaukee. From there it will be distributed to local clinics, health departments and other providers, said Dr. Ryan Westergaard, chief medical officer for the state bureau of communicable diseases in the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS).

Westergaard spoke with reporters in a briefing Wednesday.

Because of limited stores of the vaccine, the first priority for the initial doses that the state is receiving will be people at the highest risk, Westergaard said. Currently Wisconsin has been allocated just under 6,000 doses from the federal government, with more expected to become available starting Aug. 15, he said.

DHS has also adopted a recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued Tuesday that the vaccine can be administered in the skin rather than under the skin. A dose of 0.1 milliliter appears to provide immune protection that is about as effective as the standard dose given under the skin, which is 0.5 milliliters, Westergaard said. That makes it possible to adequately vaccinate five times as many people with the current supplies as would be expected.

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