Moderna exploring the possibility of creating an mRNA monkeypox vaccine.
I recently noted that the federal government is trying to find a way to stretch the limited supply of the monkeypox vaccine by changing how the doses are administered to people.
The Biden administration is now permitting the use of the alternative dosing method, which will use one-fifth as much per shot.
In order for the Food and Drug Administration to authorize so-called intradermal injection, which would involve injecting one-fifth of the current dose into the skin instead of a full dose into underlying fat, the Department of Health and Human Services will need to issue a new emergency declaration allowing regulators to invoke the F.D.A.’s emergency use powers. That declaration is expected as early as Tuesday afternoon.
The move would help alleviate a shortage of vaccine that has turned into a growing political and public health problem for the administration.
The administration has faced a barrage of criticism that it was too slow to ship vaccine that was ready for use to the United States from Denmark, where it was manufactured, and too slow to order that bulk vaccine stocks be processed into vials after the disease first surfaced here in mid-May.
In less than three months, more than 8,900 monkeypox cases have been reported. The disease spreads primarily through skin-to-skin contact during sex among gay and bisexual men. Federal officials are concerned about both the current infection rate and the risk that the disease could spread to other parts of the population.
Additionally, Moderna has announced it initiated a research program to consider whether the company could create a monkeypox vaccine with mRNA technology.
“We’re obviously very aware of the monkeypox concern and obviously very sensitive to recent announcements,” Moderna President Stephen Hoge said during an investor call.
He went on, “We did initiate a research program. We are tracking that very closely and obviously, given the recent public health announcements and increasing concern about availability of vaccine supply, we are beginning to look at what it would take for us to use our platform and to provide a monkeypox vaccine — both [to] intervene in the current and the current epidemic but also to try and address long-term issues of supply in this public health threat.”
Domestically and globally, officials have been vocal in their concern that there are not enough monkeypox vaccines to address the emerging crisis. With demand increasing, officials from the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) have reported that a total of 1.1 million doses of the JYNNEOS vaccine for monkeypox, a two-dose regimen, will be allocated to states and jurisdictions across the country. Approximately 1.5 million Americans are currently considered eligible for vaccination, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) told ABC News last month.
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