DC reveals new monkeypox vaccines strategy in order to increase available doses

The District is modifying how it administers the monkeypox vaccine in an effort to stretch its limited supply.

DC Health said Friday that it will begin delivering the vaccine via an intradermal injection — or between layers of skin — rather than beneath the skin.

The Food and Drug Administration signed an emergency use authorization (EUA) Aug. 9 that permits intradermal injections of the JYNNEOS vaccine. The agency cited a 2015 study that found intradermal injections require only one-fifth of the amount of serum to be as protective as injections done subcutaneously (meaning “under the skin”).

“Vaccinations offered through the new strategy have been shown to elicit a similar immune response and provide the same level of protection as the previous administration technique, while allowing for additional doses of vaccine to be made available,” DC Health said in a release.

DC Health switched to a one-dose vaccine strategy last month when its supply of the vaccine became limited. However, the FDA said there’s no data to suggest that one dose of the vaccine is effective at providing long-lasting protection.

District health officials said that they will start scheduling appointments for second doses on Saturday. Second doses aren’t available on a walk-up basis.

In data released Wednesday, DC Health reported that the District has 350 reported cases of monkeypox. The large majority of those who’ve been infected are men, with most of them being white and between the ages of 25-39.

Matthew Delaney

Matt Delaney is a digital web writer/editor who joined WTOP in 2020.

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