PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — U.S. health officials on Tuesday approved a plan to expand the country’s limited supply of monkeypox vaccine by giving people just one-fifth the usual dose, citing research that suggests the reduced amount is about that is effective.
The so-called dose-sparing approach also involves giving the Jynneos vaccine with an injection just under the skin rather than into deeper tissues – a practice that may be better at boosting the immune system. Recipients would still get two shots four weeks apart.
“In theory, if you take this evil and break it up into five doses, it should work,” said Dr. Marci Drees, ChristianaCare’s Senior Infection Prevention Officer.
While not a new idea, it has not yet been tested with the monkeypox vaccine.
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“The reason this could theoretically work is because we have many more immune cells in our skin. So you don’t need a higher dose vaccine to generate a similar immune response.”
As of Monday, there have been more than 8,900 confirmed cases of monkeypox in the United States. And the vaccines, while in high demand, are in short supply.
The Camden County Health Department is prioritizing those identified as “close contacts” and those deemed “high risk.”
“Right now we’re primarily looking at populations of the LGBTQ+ community, men who have sex with people, people who have had multiple anonymous sex partners in the last 14 days,” said Caryelle Lasher, the director of the Camden County Department of Health and Human Services.
“There’s been a handful of women, a handful of kids that have been in contact with someone with monkeypox, so it can spread from person to person,” Lasher added.
SEE ALSO: Philadelphia Launches Monkeypox Tracker; Vaccine in limited quantity
2,409 doses of the vaccine had been administered in Philadelphia through Monday. That’s a little less than half of the doses received.
But even with Tuesday’s news, it might be some time before you see more cans.
“Most healthcare providers are happy to put vaccines in the muscle, but most have never put one in the skin, so some training will be required, too,” Drees said.
The CDC says it will begin emergency training on administering the vaccines this way.
The FDA also granted an emergency use authorization for children under the age of 18.
Vaccines are released in waves.
Here in Philadelphia, the health department says the next wave of ordering more doses is on August 15th.
Medical experts said symptoms like a headache, fever and painful blisters usually go away, but the CDC warns that children under the age of 8 and people with compromised immune systems are among the risk groups for serious illnesses.
For now, the CDC said to prevent infection and avoid close skin contact with people who may have a rash that looks like monkeypox. Also, don’t share things like utensils or towels.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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https://6abc.com/monkeypox-symptoms-vaccine-cases-new-fda/12112836/ Monkeypox 2022: US will implement new vaccine strategy to increase availability