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Giving smaller doses allows U.S. to provide more monkeypox vaccine to states and cities

Monkeypox Explainer
Rick Bowmer
Monkeypox vaccines are shown at the Salt Lake County Health Department Thursday, July 28, 2022, in Salt Lake City. Monkeypox spread typically requires skin-to-skin or skin-to-mouth contact with an infected patient’s lesions. People can also be infected through contact with the clothing or bedsheets of someone who has monkeypox lesions.

The accelerated release was only possible because officials are stretching the nation’s limited supply by administering one-fifth the usual dose, injected just under the skin.

U.S. officials said they are able to ship out more monkeypox vaccine doses than previously planneds because of a strategy shift that allows more shots to be drawn from each vial.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services had previously anticipated allowing 221,000 doses to be ordered starting Monday. But officials said they would release 442,000 doses to state, local and territorial health departments.

The accelerated release was only possible because U.S. health officials said last week that they would stretch the nation’s limited supply of Jynneos monkeypox vaccine by giving people one-fifth the usual dose, injected just under the skin. Previously, each vaccine dose required a full vial injected into deeper tissue.

The 442,000 doses would equate to about 88,000 vials.

Officials say they are gathering data about how the shots are being used to help the government make sure doses are being administered to the places and people that need them most.