Biden officials accelerating monkeypox vaccine effort with 1.8 million additional doses and other steps

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That includes boosting the supply with an additional 1.8 million doses of the Jynneos monkeypox vaccine, accelerating the timeline of vaccine distribution from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. HHS is also launching a new program focused on making vaccines available and involving at-risk communities in major events that attract LGBTQ communities. And the administration is pre-positioning doses of an antiviral treatment for individuals who test positive.

The details, gathered in a White House fact sheet, were first shared with CNN.

The announcements come as the latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says more than 13,500 cases of monkeypox have been reported in the United States, with more than 39,000 cases worldwide as of Wednesday night. There have been zero deaths in the US. Most cases of monkeypox in the current outbreak have been linked to sexual activity. According to CDC guidelines, “monkeypox can spread to anyone” through close contact, which is often skin-to-skin, as well as intimate contact that includes sex, hugging, massaging and kissing. Men who have sex with men are at high risk of contracting the virus.

In a briefing Thursday morning, along with HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra and CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Bob Fenton, White House Monkeypox Response Coordinator, announced: “We have accelerated phase four of our national vaccine strategy. As of Monday, an additional 1.8 million vaccine doses will be available for jurisdictions to order.” That accelerated allocation phase will give states and jurisdictions greater insight into how much of the vaccine they can expect as they make plans to distribute it.

The Biden administration is also providing more resources to local jurisdictions to help the transition to the new type of injection to stretch vaccine stocks. The administration encourages states to administer the Jynneos vaccine intradermally — or between the layers of skin — rather than subcutaneously, or under the skin, allowing providers to expand supplies in one standard-dose vial. Los Angeles County in California and Fulton County in Georgia have both switched completely to the intradermal vaccine, a White House official told CNN, as the administration provides “technical assistance, support and resources to jurisdictions in the process of adopting and expanding of intradermal administration.”

The officials also unveiled a new program aimed at reaching the population at highest risk — gay and bisexual men — who have made up the majority of confirmed cases so far.

“HHS is launching a pilot program that will provide up to 50,000 doses from the national supply to be made available for pride and other events involving many gay and bisexual men,” Fenton said Thursday, calling it an “important” and “innovative” way. to support local efforts to reduce spread.

One of the upcoming events is the Charlotte Pride Festival and Parade this weekend in North Carolina. Officials acknowledge that this effort will not prevent the spread around these events, as the vaccine does not provide full immunity until two weeks after the second dose. But it’s an effort to raise awareness and meet people where they are.

The CDC also provides “assistance and support to jurisdictions to prepare for these major events, including helping develop vaccine and testing strategies to stand up in and around these events, developing tools for information gathering.” from event attendees, and providing messaging and communication resources about vaccines, testing, and strategies to reduce one’s risk of contracting the virus,” the White House fact sheet said.

And officials outlined new efforts to make treatment for monkeypox, Tpoxx, more easily accessible.

“Next week, HHS will pre-position 50,000 courses with Tpoxx across the country. That’s nearly five times as many treatment courses than confirmed cases in the US. These courses will be made available to jurisdictions where the outbreak is most severe so that individuals can respond faster. are treated by their health care providers,” Fenton said.

Dawn O’Connell, HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, said the new effort reflects that “this is not a static response. We continue to assess where we are, evaluate what we need and make improvements in real time.” The Biden administration has been criticized for being slow to respond to the evolving outbreak.

The allocation is based on a formula that is 75% based on the number of cases in a jurisdiction and 25% on the number of individuals at risk.

“It is important that we all take monkey pox seriously, and it is critical that we do everything we can to prevent this dangerous virus from spreading here,” Becerra told reporters on Thursday, adding that there is “more work to be done.” used to be”.

US federal health officials also said the alternative method of administering smaller doses of the Jynneos monkeypox vaccine through intradermal injection would provide some protection as the nation continues to fight the virus.

But about the exact efficacy numbers, Walensky said, “We don’t know yet how well this vaccine will work in this outbreak.”

CNN has reported that Jynneos has been approved for emergency use based on studies of immune responses, not clinical results, as there have been no outbreaks of smallpox or monkeypox large enough to test it.

The US Food and Drug Administration last week issued an emergency use permit allowing the Jynneos monkeypox vaccine to be injected into the skin, a shift that could stretch vaccine supplies as it takes one-fifth of a dose for a subcutaneous injection. The FDA said it based the authorization on a 2015 clinical study of intradermal injection compared to subcutaneous, and found they yielded similar results.

“So, when the intradermal dosing strategy, which we expect will work just as well as subcutaneous dosing, we’ve been in close contact with health departments again,” Walensky said. “This has gone smoothly, but we have been in close contact with our state and local health departments to provide them with all the data and all the information we have if we have it.”

dr. Peter Marks, the director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics and Evaluation Research, said the shift to intradermal injection has been made “very carefully” and “with a lot of thought.”

“We’re working very actively to make sure the community has the information we’ve reviewed and can see the thought process we’re using to come to the conclusion that giving intradermally the same kind of protection as giving through the subcutaneous route,” said Marks.

dr. Demetre Daskalakis, assistant coordinator for the White House monkeypox response, said, “It’s safe, it’s equally effective, and it also allows us to expand the vaccine so we can maximize protection in the community.”

This story has been updated with additional comments.

CNN’s Deidre McPhillips contributed to this report.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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