City Life Org – Department of Health Announces Final Distribution of Monkeypox Vaccine

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Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Changes to the method of administration will also expand the scope

Learn more about monkeypox: health.ny.gov/monkeypox

The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) today announced new federal plans to expedite the distribution of the JYNNEOS vaccine. In early August, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced plans to send approximately 110,000 additional vaccine doses to New York State and New York City, 40% of which were released during the first stage of phase 3 in the days that followed. Phases 3b and 3c have now been combined to accelerate the release of the vaccine, with 3,560 vials ordered and expected to be delivered by this week.

The CDC’s plan to release all remaining Phase 3 doses follows the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recent emergency use authorization for intradermal (ID) administration of the JYNNEOS vaccine, which will deliver a full 0.1ml dose of vaccine between the recipients skin layers. This method of administration will allow four to five full doses to be delivered from each vial, allowing for more widespread vaccination.

The CDC is also accelerating the rollout of the next phase of distribution — Phase 4 — which will allow the vaccines to reach more eligible New Yorkers faster. Federal allocation of vaccine doses available at NYS for Phase 4 is expected early next week. Adjusting dosage levels based on the method of administration is common in medicine, with dose levels of antibiotics, vaccines, and anesthesia all depending on the route of administration. A study has shown that the immunogenicity of the intradermal route using 0.1 ml full dose is consistent with the previously approved subcutaneous method using 0.5 ml full dose.

State Health Commissioner, Dr. Mary T. Bassett said“Our main goal is to prevent the spread of this virus by increasing the immunity of as many people at risk as possible. This latest delivery of vials of vaccines from the federal government, delivered by the newly authorized method of administration, will mean more vaccine doses for more people.

With the JYNNEOS vaccine, the ID method and associated doses should provide the same immune response, based on the available data. Now, each vial will contain between four and five doses, depending on the technique of administration, and will provide better protection for many more individuals.

Providers have already started ordering supplies, training and preparing for ID administration of the JYNNEOS vaccine. In New York State, vendors and LHDs will move quickly to identity administration. By August 29, NYSDOH expects all providers to use the ID method for the first and second doses.

Of the 3,560 new vaccine vials ordered and delivered in the coming days, 900 will be delivered in Suffolk; 440 in Erie; 400 in Nassau; 300 oranges; 140 in Monroe; 100 to Colombia; 40 in Rockland; and 20 to Sullivan.

The Department will also reserve 100 vials for counties in the event of new identified cases and allocate 520 vials to ensure an adequate supply of vaccines to meet the planned second doses.

NYSDOH remains strongly committed to equitable distribution of vaccines, and eligibility remains focused on those with known or likely exposure in areas with the highest number of cases.

In accordance with CDC guidelines advising post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for the current Monkeypox outbreak, those already exposed or likely to have been exposed are prioritized in the state’s allocation to counties.

Current eligibility includes the following New Yorkers:

  • People with recent exposure to monkeypox within the past 14 days.
  • Individuals at high risk of recent exposure to monkeypox, including members of the gay, bisexual, transgender, and gender nonconforming community and other communities of men who have sex with men who have had contact intimate or skin-to-skin contact with others in the past 14 days in areas where monkeypox is spreading.
  • People who have had skin-to-skin contact with someone on a social network with monkeypox, including men who have sex with men who meet partners through an online website, app digital (“app”) or social event, such as a bar or party.

While current vaccine eligibility remains unchanged under CDC guidelines, the transition to intradermal delivery will eventually allow vaccines to reach more New Yorkers through pre-exposure prophylaxis, which would broaden the prevention strategy and would potentially reduce transmission.

In addition to vaccine distribution, NYSDOH has launched an extensive public education campaign to provide information about monkeypox directly to New Yorkers. This includes paid digital advertising to reach men who have sex with men and the creation of a dedicated website with the latest information on monkeypox. The website offers free downloadable materials including a palm map, information map, handouts and posters available in English and Spanish. Just last week, Governor Hochul and NYSDOH launched a new SMS text messaging effort to get information about monkeypox to New Yorkers, including the ability to accept location-based messages that may include the availability of vaccines and care in areas of New Yorkers.

Anyone can get monkeypox, which is spread mainly through close physical contact between people. Based on the current epidemic, certain populations are more affected than others, including gay, bisexual, transgender, and gender-nonconforming men who have sex with men. Information from previous outbreaks around the world indicates that older New Yorkers, those with weakened immune systems, pregnant women and children under age 8 may be at increased risk for serious outcomes.

New Yorkers can sign up for the text campaign by texting “MONKEYPOX” to 81336 or “MONKEYPOXESP” for texts in Spanish. New Yorkers will be able to provide their zip code to sign up for location-based messaging, if they wish.

For more information about monkeypox, including case counts by county, treatment, and care, visit health.ny.gov/monkeypox.

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