Monkeypox vaccine given in small doses

August 9, 2022
Woman distributing liquid in vials

It’s safe, it’s effective, and it will significantly scale the volume of vaccine doses available for communities across the country.

Robert Fenton, the White House’s monkeypox response coordinator. The FDA approved a new plan to administer about one-fifth of the normal vaccine dose to those at risk in order to stretch the limited quantity of monkeypox vaccines.

Why It Matters: The decision to stretch vaccine doses comes days after the White House declared monkeypox a public health emergency to help slow the ongoing outbreak that has infected about 9,000 Americans.

  • How it works "dose-sparing" approach: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorization for the JYNNEOS vaccine for those who are at high risk and at least 18 years old. The emergency use authorization permits the vaccine to be given at one-fifth of the normal dose in order to "increase the total number of doses available."
  • Research behind the technique: Regulators cite a 2015 study that shows the one-fifth approach was 94% effective (compared to 98% effective when receiving the full dose). Further studies will be conducted soon.
  • Some are raising concerns: “We have grave concerns about the limited amount of research that has been done on this dose and administration method, and we fear it will give people a false sense of confidence that they are protected,” said David Harvey of the National Coalition of STD Directors.
  • Something to Consider: This might not be a long-term solution. The U.S. owns "bulk vaccine ingredients equivalent to 16.1 million doses" through a contract with a Danish manufacturer (Associated Press). However, the material must still be sealed in vials, which could take months.

Monkeypox declared public health emergency (SmartHER News)

US will stretch monkeypox vaccine supply with smaller doses (Associated Press)

by Jenna Lee,