White House announces new actions to combat Monkeypox outbreak

(ABC News) – Thursday, the White House National Monkeypox Response team announced a series of actions the Biden-Harris Administration is taking to further accelerate its response to the monkeypox (MPV) outbreak and mitigate the spread of the virus.

Since the first case was confirmed in the United States, the Administration has led a whole-of-government response to make tests, vaccines, and treatments more widely available to communities across the country and has worked with the LGBTQI+ community to provide information and resources directly to communities most at risk of contracting the virus.

To date, the Biden-Harris Administration has delivered nearly 1 million doses of JYNNEOS vaccine to jurisdictions – the largest JYNNEOS MPV vaccine program in the world.

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the Emergency Use Authorization of the JYNNEOS vaccine to be administered intradermally in individuals 18 years of age and older determined to be at high risk of MPV, without compromising the level of immune response achieved or the safety of the vaccine.

The action means that each vial of vaccine can be used for up to five doses, since the appropriate dose for intradermal administration is 0.1mL versus 0.5mL required per dose administered subcutaneously. Paired with that announcement, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a robust set of resources and tools to help jurisdictions train providers and health care professionals on how to administer the vaccine intradermally.

In less than ten days following FDA’s EUA on intradermal administration, some of the country’s largest counties have transitioned completely to intradermal administration of the JYNNEOS vaccine for eligible adults, including Los Angeles County, California, and Fulton County, Georgia.

The increased availability of vaccine doses has also enabled more jurisdictions to offer second doses to eligible individuals, as the JYNNEOS vaccine is administered as two doses, four weeks apart for maximum protection

The Biden-Harris Administration has also significantly increased availability and convenience of orthopoxvirus tests, expanding capacity of tests from 6,000 tests per week to 80,000 tests per week. Additionally, the Administration has taken a number of steps to make TPOXX, a treatment for MPV, more accessible to prescribe, and today’s announcements build on those actions. To increase availability of vaccines, tests, and treatments, and protect communities most at risk of contracting the virus:

HHS to make 1.8 million doses of vaccine available for ordering beginning Monday.

Earlier this week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) allocated and began distributing another 442,000 doses of vaccine to jurisdictions across the country.

The announcement was the first allocation of vaccine following FDA’s EUA allowing for intradermal administration of the JYNNEOS vaccine, so the 442,000 doses reflect the number of total doses that could be available through intradermal administration.

Thursday, HHS is announcing that it has accelerated Phase 4 of its National Vaccine Strategy and will be making an additional 1.8 million doses available for ordering starting Monday, August 22. Jurisdictions that are adopting the intradermal administration of vaccine and have used 90% of their current supply of vaccine will be able to order additional doses.

The Administration is making these doses available ahead of schedule to encourage rapid distribution of vaccine to individuals at high risk of contracting the virus, particularly gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men.

The Administration is also encouraging intradermal administration of vaccine and providing technical assistance, support, and resources to jurisdictions in the process of adopting and expanding intradermal administration.