Monkeypox continues to spread in Oregon as new vaccine strategy gets underway
Monkeypox cases in Lane County continue to rise with 17 infections confirmed or presumed-- and more expected. While the vaccine pipeline is slowly filling, health officials acknowledge there are not enough for everyone who needs or wants one.
On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration issued emergency authorization to stretch the vaccine supply by splitting doses. Senior Public Health Officer, Dr. Patrick Luedtke said that’s good news.
“We can give one fifth of the existing dose and still have an immunological response. So, instead of giving 0.5 milliliters you can give 0.1. And that means that we have five times as much vaccine as we thought we had.”
Luedtke said now the monkeypox vaccine will be delivered as an intradermal injection, penetrating only the top layer of skin. He said some training may be needed for caregivers who need practice giving the shallow shot.
According to a Washington Post report Wednesday, the manufacturer of the only U.S. approved monkeypox vaccine has expressed some reservations about the dose splitting strategy.
Last week, monkeypox was declared a national public health emergency. Thus far, the outbreak has infected 95 Oregonians from seven counties and more than 9,500 Americans.