Kids can’t get monkeypox vaccine unless exposed to infection

Monkeypox vaccines aren’t available for most people, including children, but there are exceptions if they’ve been directly exposed to the virus.

So far, more than 6,000 people in the United States have contracted monkeypox, according to the CDC, but almost none of them were children.

WHO data suggests that previous outbreaks of the disease in other countries have been more severe in children. After the first cases of monkeypox were confirmed in children in the United States in recent weeks, some parents are concerned that their children could be at risk if they return to school unvaccinated.

but several viral posts Point out that health officials across the country are tightly restricting who is eligible for the shot.

THE QUESTION

Are children suitable for the monkeypox vaccine?

THE SOURCES

THE ANSWER

This requires context.

Children are not currently eligible for either of the two available monkeypox vaccines as a preventive vaccination. However, they may be eligible if they have had direct contact with someone with monkeypox.

WHAT WE FOUND

Two monkeypox vaccines are currently available in the United States: Jynneos and ACAM2000. They can be given either as a preventive measure or after direct exposure to the virus to prevent illness. But there aren’t many needles, so almost all local health departments only give them to the most vulnerable.

For now, that’s men who have sex with men, as they make up the overwhelming majority of cases so far. And even within this group, getting the shot as a preventive measure can be difficult.

New York City, for example, will only give preventive vaccinations to “gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men, and/or transgender, gender nonconforming, or gender nonbinary” individuals who are 18 years of age or older “in the past 14 months.” days have had multiple or anonymous sex partners.”

Washington, DC has virtually identical requirements.

However, health officials also say anyone who has been directly exposed to monkeypox could be eligible for an injection, including children.

“Children and adolescents exposed to people with suspected or confirmed monkeypox may be eligible for post-exposure vaccination,” the CDC said in a statement to VERIFY.

Allison Messina, who heads the infectious diseases unit at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, says the current eligibility requirements make sense given that the disease has so far been reported primarily in specific adult populations.

“Right now, there isn’t much push to routinely vaccinate children against monkeypox,” she said. “That may change now if it continues to spread.”

The ACAM2000 vaccine is FDA-approved for people of all ages, but it may have negative side effects for people with compromised immune systems or certain skin conditions, such as eczema. The CDC says it can especially harm infants 12 months of age or younger with such conditions.

Jynneos doesn’t have the same side effects, but it’s only fully approved for patients 18 and older. However, the CDC says that children who are directly exposed to monkeypox “can apply for an individual patient authorization from the FDA, which can be purchased in coordination with state and local health officials and the CDC.”

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Alley Einstein

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