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FDA announces new guidelines for monkeypox vaccine

On August 9, 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for a new way of administering the Jynneos vaccine for those at high risk for monkeypox infection. The EUA allows healthcare providers to use the vaccine by intradermal injection for individuals 18 years of age and older.

This announcement followed scientific evidence that an intradermal route of administration (between the layers of the skin) produces equivalent levels of immunogenicity as a subcutaneous route (into fatty layer under the skin). The new guideline proposes using 1/5th the current dose of Jynneos vaccines for at risk individuals which will increase the number of doses available by up to five-fold. Read full announcement.

As of August 11, 2022, the OC Health Care Agency (HCA) has reported 52 confirmed or probable cases of Monkeypox and vaccinated over 1986 individuals. Those vaccinated are individuals who were either directly exposed to monkeypox or are at higher risk of monkeypox infection. Internationally, there are over 32,000 cases of monkeypox from 91 nations with 10,392 cases in the U.S. and 1,733 cases in California.

“HCA’s Public Health Services (PHS) Communicable Disease Control Division (CDCD) team is working with our community partners to assure that limited vaccine resources are put to best use,” said Dr. Matt Zahn, Deputy Health Officer and CDCD Medical Director. “The new FDA and CDC guidance will allow us to protect more of those who are at risk.”

The HCA is also working with community providers to assure that persons who are infected with monkeypox needing treatment can receive the antiviral tecovirimat (TPOXX). To learn more about monkeypox and guidance for vaccination, visit www.ochealthinfo.com/monkeypox.

To prevent the spread of monkeypox, people should:

  • Talk to your sexual partner/s about any recent illness and being aware of new or unexplained sores or rashes on your body or your partner’s body, including on the genitals and anus
  • Avoid close contact, including hugging, kissing, cuddling and sexual activity with people with symptoms like sores or rashes
  • Not share materials (e.g., utensils, cups, clothing, towels, bedding) with someone who has symptoms
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) (like a mask, gown and gloves) when caring for others with symptoms
  • Avoid contact with infected animals

Residents who think that they may have monkeypox or been exposed to monkeypox should talk with a medical provider immediately. PCR testing is available at commercial laboratories including Quest Diagnostics, Labcorp, Aegis Sciences, and Mayo Clinic Laboratories.

For more information on monkeypox, including case counts, prevention strategies, vaccination and what the HCA is doing in Orange County, visit www.ochealthinfo.com/monkeypox or https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/index.html.

This article was released by the OC Health Care Agency.