Vaccinators stretch out monkeypox vaccine supply

Monkeypox vaccine
Monkeypox vaccine
Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 11:43 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) - The number of monkeypox cases continues to rise in Wisconsin. Nine more confirmed cases brings the known total to 32, including several cases in Northeast Wisconsin.

The Food and Drug Administration is working with hospitals nationwide to implement a technique to stretch out the monkeypox vaccine supply.

Intradermal injection, where the vaccine is administered between layers of skin rather than under it into the fat, has been tested and trialed since 2015 when scientists were preparing for another smallpox outbreak.

The FDA says using this method, patients only need 0.1 milliliters of the vaccine instead of 0.5 mL.

Wisconsin’s health department is on board.

“It’s in the case of any emergency, this strategy could be relied on to vaccinate five times as many people because it uses up the volume,” Dr. Ryan Westergaard, a chief medical officer at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, said. “The federal government took this action to expand that we received authorization of the JYNNEOS vaccine to be given in that way.”

The state has received 3,000 vials of monkeypox vaccine so far.

“As soon as possible in as many places as possible, we are going to be encouraging people to use the new technique,” Dr. Westergaard said. “We are looking into options to make sure that that staff have the different syringes that can be used for intradermal administration and are surveying all of our vaccinating partners to find out if there are any training or workforce needs.”

The chances of getting monkeypox aren’t like COVID-19. That novel virus is mostly spread through respiratory droplets in the air, while monkeypox typically spreads through skin-to-skin contact, especially sexual contact.

Though monkeypox isn’t spread as easily, health officials are still urging people to be on the alert.

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