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The Biden administration is scrambling to shore up its dwindling supply of monkeypox vaccine doses amid criticism of its response to the growing crisis.

Federal health officials yesterday unveiled a new strategy aimed at vaccinating five times as many people against the virus, our colleagues Dan Diamond and Fant Nerpel report. The new tactic changes the way providers administer injections, prompting state and local officials to scramble to make adjustments to their procedures.

Shortly after the announcement, the health department said it would review, and may need more federal and state guidance on the change, whether it has the necessary needles and supplies. . Vaccinators may also need additional training on a new plan to administer doses under the top layer of skin, an unconventional method of administering the vaccine.

“Many local health departments are still assessing the impact on their communities, particularly when it comes to logistics, including ensuring that vaccinators are trained and up-to-date on administration methods. We are confident in the car,” said Adrian Casalotti, Head of Government and Public Affairs. at the National Association of County and City Health Officials, he told Health202.



Demand for the monkeypox vaccine is outstripping supply as a record outbreak of the virus has infected nearly 9,500 people in the United States. This is why the management is looking for new ways to enhance its current offering.

Here’s how the change announced yesterday works: Instead of injecting doses of the Jynneos vaccine into the fatty tissue under the skin, as is the usual method, the injections will be injected under the top layer of skin, a technique called Called intradermal injection. . This change essentially maximizes the immune response to the injection and allows vaccinators to give only one-fifth of the original dose, Dean and Fant explain.

Under the new plan, the country’s remaining 441,000 doses could be expanded to provide 2.2 million vaccines. At a news conference yesterday, federal health officials stressed that the new method would not compromise the safety or efficacy of the vaccine, which is still intended for a two-dose shot.

“We encourage jurisdictions to use alternative feeding methods as soon as possible, and we will be your partner in that step,” White House monkeypox response coordinator Robert Fenton said in a statement yesterday.


Questions Remain

State and local officials are determining how to accommodate the new food changes and are expected to field questions in the coming days. It comes as the Biden administration considers at least 1.6 million gay and bisexual men to be most at risk of contracting monkeypox and is urging them to get vaccinated.

“There are a lot of questions about the logistics of the requirements, and I think they will be resolved in the next couple of days,” said Marcus Plessia, chief medical officer for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.

The San Francisco Department of Public Health says it is awaiting guidance from the state health department on how to count and record each dose when multiple doses are taken from a single vial. The department, like several other major health associations, said the vaccine could require additional training for staff and could be slow to administer.

Biden officials noted that the method has been used before, such as for tuberculosis skin tests, but acknowledged that some health professionals may not be as familiar with the tactic. For example: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is sending guidance to vaccine providers “to help ensure that So that this new strategy can be implemented as soon as possible and without any hindrance”. Agency.


First On Health 202: Biden To Appoint New NCI Director

Biden will formally announce today his intention to nominate surgical oncologist Monica Bertagnoli as the next director of the National Cancer Institute.

Bertagnoli will replace Norman “Ned” Sharples, a Brigham and Women’s Hospital physician, who resigned as NCI director in April. With a budget of $7 billion, the NCI is an integral part of Biden’s Cancer Moonshot initiative to halve the monkeypox cancer death rate in the US over the next 2 years. 5 years. The State first reported Biden’s intention to nominate Bertagnoli last month.

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