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

This includes accelerating the US Department of Health and Human Services’ vaccine distribution schedule, increasing the supply of an additional 1.8 million doses of Jynneos monkeypox vaccine. HHS is also launching a new program aimed at making vaccines more accessible and engaging with at-risk communities in major events involving the LGBTQ community. And the administration will pre-order doses of antiviral treatment for people who test positive.

The details, compiled on a White House bulletin, were first shared with CNN.

Announcements According to the latest data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 13,500 cases of monkeypox have been reported in the United States, with more than 39,000 cases reported worldwide as of Wednesday evening. There were zero deaths in the US. In the current epidemic, most of the monkeys are sexually active. According to CDC guidance, “monkey pox can be spread from person to person,” most commonly through skin-to-skin contact, including sex, hugging, massage, and kissing. Men who have sex with men are at higher risk of contracting the virus.

In a Thursday morning briefing, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra and CDC Director Dr. “We have accelerated the fourth phase of our national vaccine strategy. Starting Monday, an additional 1.8 million doses of vaccine will be available for jurisdictions to order,” announced Rochelle Walensky, White House monkeypox coordinator Bob Fenton. This accelerated distribution phase gives states and jurisdictions a better idea of ​​how much vaccine to expect as they plan to distribute it.

The Biden administration is also giving more resources to local jurisdictions to help them transition to a new type of injection to expand their vaccine supply. The administration is encouraging states to give the Jyneos vaccine intradermally, or between layers of the skin, rather than subcutaneously or under the skin, allowing providers to deliver it in a single standard-dose vial. Los Angeles County in California and Fulton County in Georgia have both fully transitioned to the intradermal vaccine, a White House official told CNN, as the administration is “providing technical assistance, support and resources to jurisdictions in the process of adopting and expanding intradermal administration.”

Officials also unveiled a new program aimed at reaching the highest-risk population, gay and bisexual people who make up the majority of confirmed cases so far.

“HHS is launching a pilot program that will make up to 50,000 doses available from a national warehouse for gay and bisexual men’s pride and other events,” Fenton said Thursday, calling it “significant.” An “innovative” way to strengthen local efforts to reduce the 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 these cases from spreading around the country because the vaccine does not provide full immunity until two weeks after the second dose. However, it is an effort to raise awareness and meet people where they are.

CDC also “offers assistance and support to jurisdictions to prepare for these large events, including developing vaccine and testing strategies in and around these events, developing tools to collect information from event attendees, and developing messaging and communications.” provide resources on vaccines, tests, and strategies to reduce the risk of contracting the virus,” the White House news release said.

And officials have outlined new efforts to ease access to monkeypox, Tpoxx.

“Next week, HHS will preemptively deploy 50,000 Tpoxx courses across the country. That’s five times more treatment courses than confirmed cases in the U.S. These courses will be available in jurisdictions where the outbreak is most severe, so individuals can get treatment faster than their health care providers,” Fenton said.

Dawn O’Connell, HHS assistant secretary for preparedness and response, said the new effort “is not a static response. We are assessing where we are, assessing what we need, and continuing to make improvements in real time.” The Biden administration has been criticized for being slow to respond to the developing epidemic.

Allocation is based on a formula based on 75% the number of cases in the jurisdiction and 25% the number of people at risk.

“It’s important that we all take monkeypox seriously and do everything we can to prevent this dangerous virus from spreading here,” Becerra told reporters Thursday, adding that “there is more work to do.”

U.S. federal health officials also said an alternative method of administering lower doses of the monkeypox vaccine by intradermal injection could provide some protection as Ginneos continues to fight the virus.

However, on the subject of exact efficacy numbers, Walensky said, “We don’t yet know how well this vaccine will work in this epidemic.”

According to CNN, Ginneos was approved for emergency use based on studies of immune responses, not clinical results, because there were not enough smallpox or monkeypox cases to test it.

Last week, the US Food and Drug Administration granted emergency approval for Jyneos’ monkeypox vaccine to be injected into the skin, which could extend the vaccine’s supply because it requires one-fifth the dose used for subcutaneous injection. The FDA based the approval on a 2015 clinical study comparing subcutaneous injections that found they produced similar results.

“So we once again met closely with the health departments when the intradermal dosing strategy we hoped would work as well as the subcutaneous dosing,” Walensky said. “It’s been fluid, but we’ve been in close contact with the state and local health departments, giving them all the information and all the information we have.”

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

“We’re very active in making sure the public has access to the data we reviewed, and we can see the thought process we used to conclude that giving it intradermally provides the same protection as giving it subcutaneously,” said Mark.

Dr. “It’s safe, it’s equally effective, and it allows the vaccine to be scaled up to maximize protection in the community,” said Demeter Daskalakis, the White House’s assistant monkeypox coordinator.

This story has been updated with additional reaction.

CNN’s Deidre McPhillips contributed to this report.

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