USA provides vaccines for Gay Pride and other events

The US will provide 50,000 doses of the monkeypox vaccine for large events attended by gay and bisexual men, health officials said Thursday.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said communities hosting Pride and other events can order additional vaccines to offer on-site vaccinations. The CDC is asking jurisdictions that order more vaccine for these events to provide a plan for how to educate participants about the risk factors associated with monkeypox, Walensky said.

The CDC director said the education will include advice on safe sex, including temporarily limiting sexual partners during the current outbreak. Monkey pox is primarily transmitted during sexual intercourse.

“I think while we’re offering the vaccine at these events to those at high risk, it’s a two-dose vaccine series, and getting the vaccine at these events doesn’t provide protection at the event itself,” Walensky said. It’s especially important to avoid behaviors that increase the risk of infection between the first and second doses of the vaccine, he said.

The US is using the Jynneos vaccine, made by the Danish biotech company Bavarian Nordic, to vaccinate people against monkeypox. The vaccine is given in two doses with an interval of 28 days. After the second dose, it takes two weeks for the maximal immune response to develop against the virus.

The U.S. has delivered more than 1 million doses of monkeypox vaccine nationwide since the outbreak began in May, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. On Monday, the federal government will provide another 1.8 million doses to states and other local jurisdictions.

According to HHS, the U.S. has also ordered 22,000 courses of antiviral treatment so far and will order another 50,000 next week for state and local jurisdictions.

The US has reported more than 13,500 cases of monkeypox in 49 states, Washington and Puerto Rico, according to the CDC. The vast majority of infections, 98%, are in men, and 93% of patients who provide gender and recent sexual history are men who have sex with men. The average age of patients is 35 years.

This epidemic disproportionately affects black and Hispanic communities. According to the CDC, nearly 35% of monkeypox cases are white, 33% are Hispanic, and 28% are black. Whites make up 59% of the US population, while blacks and Hispanics make up 13% and 19%, respectively. Public health officials are doing outreach for the upcoming events, which will be attended primarily by black and Hispanic people, said Demetrius Daskalakis, the White House’s deputy monkeypox coordinator.

Walensky said the CDC is working closely with local officials ahead of Atlanta Black Pride, which kicks off in August. 31 and Southern Decadence in New Orleans starting Sept. 1.

“Specifically, we’re asking for plans for what education will look like, how we can do more outreach in some cases, whether we can make testing available, how we can make vaccines available,” Walensky said.

The Food and Drug Administration last week approved the Jyneos vaccine to be given by intradermal injection, or between the layers of the skin. The vaccine was originally approved for subcutaneous or subcutaneous injection.

The decision to allow intradermal injections greatly expanded the limited supply of vaccines, as this method of administration uses one-fifth of the normal dose. According to Robert Fenton, the White House’s monkeypox coordinator, each vaccine vial now contains five doses.

Bavarian Nordic, the manufacturer, has expressed some concerns about intradermal injections. CEO Paul Chaplin HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra and FDA Commissioner Dr. In a letter last week, Robert Califf expressed concern about the limited safety data on the Bavarian Nordic method. This letter was first published by The Washington Post.

Califf and Dr. According to Peter Marks, head of the FDA’s vaccine division, in a study funded by the US government, injections into the skin produce an immune response similar to the subcutaneous method. FDA officials wrote in Bavarian Nordic’s letter that the intradermal method caused more redness, itching and swelling at the injection site, but side effects were manageable and people had less pain from the shot.

There is limited data on the effectiveness of the vaccine in the real world. WHO officials said earlier this week that people who received shots after being exposed to the virus are still getting sick, as well as reports of people becoming infected after receiving the vaccine as a preventative measure.

“We know from the beginning that this vaccine will not be a silver bullet, that it will not meet all the expectations that have been placed on it, and that in this context we do not have any efficacy or effectiveness data.” Dr. Rosamund Lewis, WHO’s chief expert on monkeypox, told reporters on Wednesday.

The monkeypox vaccine can be given after exposure to reduce the risk of severe disease or to reduce the risk of transmission.

Walensky said last week that the CDC is starting studies to monitor the actual effectiveness of the shots in preventing the disease. He said Thursday that the CDC expects the vaccine to provide the most effective vaccine protection two weeks after the second dose.

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