Monkeypox Vaccines: California and FDA Do Not Agree on How to Stretch Meager Supply

‘Dose sparing’

Now, the FDA is considering a “dose sparing” proposal that would allow health providers to use a single-dose vial of vaccine to administer a total of up to five separate doses. The plan would require changing how the vaccine is administered. Rather than an injection that goes into the fatty tissues underneath the skin, known as subcutaneous administration, people would receive it through a small needle placed delicately under the top layer of skin.

This is called intradermal administration, and giving vaccines intradermally can also result in a strong immune response.

“The FDA has identified a potential solution that would allow us to significantly increase the number of doses available [for] administration,” an agency spokesperson told KQED in an emailed statement on Friday.

“It’s important to note that overall safety and efficacy profile would not be sacrificed with this approach,” the statement said. “The virus has continued to spread at a pace and rate in recent weeks that made it clear to all of us that we would not meet current demand with the current supply.”

The FDA’s alternate strategy is now under consideration and not yet approved — nor is it clear when it might be.

The single dose strategy

Health experts warn that the US might not be able to contain the monkeypox outbreak, which has already infected thousands of Americans. And San Francisco has said it is important to take quick action in order to protect the most people.

KQED’s Community Engagement Reporter Carlos Cabrera-Lomeli reported that people seeking a jab at a vaccine clinic at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center are not being offered second shots right now.

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