PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Another national emergency response in the fight against monkeypox. Federal health officials issued an emergency use authorization on Tuesday making the vaccine available to more people.
The move comes less than a week after the Biden administration declared monkeypox a public health emergency. Now, they're targeting the vaccine.
This is unfolding quickly as there are now almost 9,000 cases of monkeypox in less than three months.
To stretch limited supplies of the monkeypox vaccine, providers will now be able to give shots that contain one-fifth the amount of a standard dose.
The new plan calls for intradermal injections, a smaller dose of the vaccine injected into the skin rather than a full dose into the underlying fat.
Doctors say it should trigger a comparable response to the previously recommended two-shot regimen.
"Today's action will boost and strengthen our response further," Xavier Becerra, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, said. "It safely accelerates and multiplies our supply of effective vaccines by up to fivefold."
The move gives health agencies more flexibility to fight the virus that is marked by lesions and a rash being diagnosed mainly among men who have sex with men.
But anyone can get monkeypox, which is spread through close contact.
With Tuesday's emergency use authorization, federal health officials say 400,000 doses of vaccine will be turned into 2 million shots.
This should significantly allow more people to get vaccinated.
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