New US plan could allow fivefold increase in monkeypox vaccination

Washington, Aug 9 (EFE).- President Joe Biden’s administration announced Tuesday that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized a change in vaccine administration protocol which could increase by 500 percent the number of people in the United States who receive the monkeypox vaccine.

“A game changer,” was how the White House monkeypox response coordinator, Robert Fenton, characterized the decision.

Under the emergency use authorization issued by the FDA, medical providers will be allowed to administer one-fifth of a full dose of the Jynneos vaccine to adults using a technique known as intradermal vaccination: depositing the vaccine into rather than under the skin.

The normal method, subcutaneous injection, will continue to be used for people under the age of 18.

“It’s safe, it’s effective, and it will significantly scale the volume of vaccine doses available for use across the country,” Fenton told reporters at the White House.

Made by the Danish firm Bavarian Nordic, Jynneos was shown in a 2015 clinical trial to produce a similar immune response via intradermal vaccination as the one resulting from subcutaneous injection.

The new mechanism will expand the number of people who can be vaccinated using the supply on hand to 2.2 million, officials said.

“Today’s action will allow FDA to exercise additional authorities that may increase availability of vaccines to prevent monkeypox while continuing to ensure the vaccine meets high standards for safety, effectiveness and manufacturing quality,” Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement.

Health authorities in the US have detected nearly 9,000 monkeypox infections.

So far, the illness is not blamed for any deaths in the United States.

Long endemic in some African countries, monkeypox was virtually unknown in Europe and the Americas until a few months ago.

On July 23, the World Health Organization declared the spread of monkeypox to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, and Becerra said last week that the outbreak constituted a public health emergency in the US. EFE jdg/dr

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