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U.S. health officials have authorized a plan to stretch the nation’s limited supply of monkeypox vaccine by giving people just one-fifth the usual dose. In an announcement issued Tuesday, they cited research suggesting that the reduced amount is about as effective. The so-called dose-sparing approach also calls for administering the Jynneos vaccine with an injection just under the skin rather than into deeper tissue — a practice that may rev up the immune system better. The highly unusual step is a stark acknowledgment that the U.S. currently lacks the supplies needed to vaccinate everyone seeking protection from the rapidly spreading virus.
FILE - A man holds a sign urging increased access to the monkeypox vaccine during a protest in San Francisco, July 18, 2022. U.S. health officials on Tuesday, August 9, 2022, authorized a new monkeypox vaccination strategy designed to stretch limited supplies by allowing health professionals to vaccinate up to five people — instead of one — with each vial. (AP Photo/Haven Daley, File)
FILE - A registered nurse prepares a dose of a Monkeypox vaccine at the Salt Lake County Health Department Thursday, July 28, 2022, in Salt Lake City. U.S. health officials on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022, authorized a new monkeypox vaccination strategy designed to stretch limited supplies by allowing health professionals to vaccinate up to five people — instead of one — with each vial. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
Spain is struggling to curtail Europe's leading monkeypox outbreak since the disease spread beyond Africa. The southern European nation counts 4,942 cases and two men have died from the disease. Authorities and groups in the LGBTQ community are honing their campaigns to get vaccines to the most needy members of the most affected demographic so far. In the U.S. and Europe, the vast majority of monkeypox infections have happened in men who have sex with men. But experts warn that if the cases continue to rise they will inevitably spread to other groups like happened with AIDS/HIV. Given the dearth of vaccines, the focus is now on getting out the message that reducing sexual partners is critical.
The U.S. has declared a public health emergency to bolster the federal response to the outbreak of monkeypox that already has infected more than 7,100 Americans. The announcement Thursday by the Department of Health and Human Services frees up federal funding and resources to fight the virus, which may cause fever, body aches, chills, fatigue and pimple-like bumps on many parts of the body. Xavier Becerra is the head of HHS. He says the agency is ready to take the U.S. response “to the next level.”
FILE - Jonathan Parducho, a pharmacist, removes a tray of vials of of the Jynneos vaccine for monkeypox from a box containing 20 doses, in the vaccine hub at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, July 29, 2022, in San Francisco. The U.S. will declare a public health emergency to bolster the federal response to the outbreak of monkeypox that already has infected more than 6,600 Americans. That's according to two people familiar with the matter said. (Lea Suzuki/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)
Better-than-expected COVID-19 vaccine sales pushed Moderna past Wall Street’s second-quarter forecasts. The company said Wednesday its Spikevax vaccine brought in $4.53 billion during the quarter. FactSet says analysts were looking for around $3.6 billion. Both numbers represent a drop from the nearly $6 billion in vaccine sales during the year’s first quarter, when a virus surge through the United States pushed more people to seek protection. But those sales could pick up again later this year. Moderna has developed an updated version of its vaccine for a fall booster campaign, and federal regulators recently endorsed the vaccine for children.
California’s governor has declared a state of emergency to speed efforts to combat the monkeypox outbreak. It makes California the second state in three days to take the step. Nearly 800 cases have been reported in the state. Gov. Gavin Newsom said his declaration Monday will help California coordinate a government-wide response. He says the state will continue to work with the federal government to secure more vaccines, raise awareness about reducing risk, and stand with the LGBTQ community fighting stigmatization. The move came after a similar declaration in New York state on Saturday, and in San Francisco on Thursday.
Public health officials warn that moves by rich countries to buy large quantities of monkeypox vaccine could leave millions of people in Africa unprotected against a more dangerous version of the disease. Scientists say that, unlike the campaigns to stop COVID-19, mass vaccinations won’t be necessary to curb monkeypox outbreaks. They think targeted vaccinations, along with other measures, could be enough to shut down the multiple outbreaks. Monkeypox is much harder to spread than coronavirus. But experts warn that if the disease spills over into general populations, the need for vaccines could intensify. Brazil and Spain have just reported monkeypox deaths, the first in their nations.