On Tuesday, U.S. health officials shared their plan to try and make the current monkeypox vaccine last but giving people one fifth of a full dose.
This plan cited research that implies that the fraction of the full dose is enough to be just as effective.
The way to administer the vaccine is planned differently as well.
What is the U.S. doing to change the way the monkeypox vaccine is given?
The Jynneos vaccine is usually given as a full dose deeper into the skin tissue.
This new plan will give 1/5 of the dose just below the surface of the skin, according to News Channel 10.
The goal may cause the immune system to react to the smaller dose better.
Two doses are still needed four weeks apart.
This is not typical practice to do with a vaccine, but the U.S. is desperate with little to no supplies as the monkeypox virus spreads.
1.6-1.7 million Americans are considered high risk.
This includes men who are HIV positive and at a higher risk to contract it.
To vaccinate the entire group, 3.2 million doses are needed.
This new policy will take the 440,000 current full doses and creat 2 million smaller doses.
The information about dosage comes from the White House following President Joe Biden’s public health emergency last week.
Right now 8,900 Americans are suffering from monkeypox.
Evidence shows that a second dose is an important step to ensure protection.
How does the U.S. know cutting vaccine doses down will work?
A study was done in 2015 that showed one fifth of the dose would work.
Data showed that 94% of the people in the study had enough antibodies to fight the virus.
The full dose shows that 98% of people have enough antibodies to fight the virus.
Another trial is in the works as they administer the vaccines.
While this seems promising, an article for The Atlantic has a different take on this study.
The trial’s participants in 2015 were healthy, young, white adults that all had a positive outcome taking a smaller dose.
The words used to describe the results of the study were “quite comparable” and “very encouraging” but nothing solidifying it was actually just as effective.
The population being vaccinated right now are not the same types of people who were in the study.
This means there is a chance the results may not be the same, and the use of the vaccine could not only not work, but would entirely waste the supply the U.S. currently has.
Additional vaccines aren’t expected until at least September, if not later.
Choosing to give the dose below the skin instead of deeper into the tissue creates a lot more room for error as well.
The TB test is given this way, and a lot of them often go wrong.
This includes bleeding, bruising, needles going too deep, and sometimes not deep enough.
If the needle doesn’t go deep enough, the dose could ooze back out, which results in someone who thinks they’re vaccinated not being vaccinated.
The reason dose splitting is happening is because the government is not prepared to protect Americans.
This places the responsibility on Americans to protect themselves.
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Samantha edits our personal finance and consumer news section. Have a question or lead? Send it to [email protected].