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CDC: Unvaccinated are 14 times more likely to get monkeypox

Men eligible for the monkeypox vaccine who did not receive it were about 14 times more likely to get the virus, early real-world effectiveness data from the CDC showed.

During the week of August 28, for example, the incidence of monkeypox was 230 per 100,000 among those not vaccinated, compared with 15 per 100,000 among those who received at least a single dose of the Jynneos vaccine, according to the findings highlighted by the White House Monkeypox Response Team on Wednesday.

Vaccine protection was seen as early as 2 weeks after the first dose, said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, noting that real-world effectiveness data for the two-dose vaccine had been limited.

The analysis was restricted to men 18 to 49 years of age and compared preliminary vaccine data with monkeypox case data from July 31 to September 3 in 32 states (representing 54% of the population). from USA). Limitations included that the analysis could not account for possible differences between the vaccinated and unvaccinated groups in terms of testing or behaviour.

“These early findings and similar results from studies in other countries suggest that even one dose of monkeypox vaccine offers at least some initial protection against infection,” Walensky said.

However, laboratory studies of the Jynneos vaccine have shown that immune protection is highest 2 weeks after the second dose of the vaccine, Walensky said, stressing the importance of eligible individuals receiving the full two-dose regimen. 28 days apart, “to ensure long-lasting immune protection against monkeypox.”

Although the agency has yet to stratify the data by intradermal injection versus subcutaneous injection, such an analysis is possible with more time and more cases. And the agency is continuing to collect data to determine the impact of a second dose of the vaccine, which will be shared as soon as the data is available, he noted.

As of Tuesday, approximately 25,300 cases of monkeypox have been reported in the US and 800,000 doses of vaccine have been administered. While the number of daily cases reported nationally continues to decline, the CDC continues to closely monitor trends in individual states, Walensky said.

In addition to sharing the latest efficacy data, he announced that the administration is expanding eligibility for the vaccine and shifting to a pre-exposure prophylaxis strategy to help stop the spread of the virus.

“We seek to ensure that people most at risk for monkeypox are vaccinated prior to exposure and that vaccines continue to be equitably available to those who need them,” he said.

The CDC is updating it. interim clinical considerations to include more information about the expanded eligibility of the vaccine and to expand the locations on the body where the vaccine can be administered intradermally.

Demetre Daskalakis, MD, MPH, the team’s deputy response coordinator, explained that the administration’s new approach expands eligibility for vaccines to more people and asks vaccine providers to “minimize the risk assessment” of those requesting it. .

“Fear of disclosing sexuality and gender identity should not be a barrier to vaccination,” he said.

“This new strategy means that more people who might be at present or future risk for monkeypox now qualify for the vaccine,” Daskalakis said. “That includes gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men; transgender or gender-diverse people who have had more than one sexual partner in the past 6 months, have had sex in a place associated with an increased risk of monkeypox or have had a diagnosed sexually transmitted infection during the same time period.

In addition, the pre-exposure prophylaxis strategy expands eligibility for the vaccine to sexual partners of anyone with the aforementioned risks, including commercial sex workers, he said.

The new strategy also expands where in the body the vaccines can be administered.

Advocates have said that some people have refused to be vaccinated because of the “visible but temporary mark” that vaccines can leave on a person’s forearm. For that reason, the CDC will now allow recipients to get the vaccine in the shoulder or upper back, Daskalakis said.

Another barrier to vaccination is the anxiety people feel about the virus, Daskalakis said. In response, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has published online resources to help address those concerns.

Walensky stressed that even vaccinated people should continue to protect themselves from infection by avoiding “close skin-to-skin contact” with anyone who has monkeypox, as well as “consider reduce behaviors that could increase the risk of exposure.”

He also urged providers to proactively offer vaccines to newly eligible individuals and to remind anyone who has received a first dose when it is time to receive a second dose.

  • Shannon Firth has been reporting on health policy as the Washington correspondent for MedPage Today since 2014. She is also a member of the site’s research and business reporting team. To follow


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