UK- The Monkeypox Vaccine will be made available to eligible patients at three NHS sites as part of a pilot program, allowing for the expansion of current vaccine stocks to shield more individuals.
The secure and clinically-approved method called “fractional dosage” has been successfully applied in prior global outbreaks when vaccination supplies are limited.
It will be implemented in one Manchester sexual health clinic, and it will soon be implemented in two more London clinics.
Using fractional dosing, which has been shown to give patients an immune response that is nearly identical, could increase the number of doses that can be given without compromising protection.
Instead of the standard 0.5ml dosage of the smallpox Jynneos vaccine, eligible individuals aged 18 and older will be given a 0.1ml dose under this strategy.
The number of people who can receive vaccinations may grow by up to 5 times as a result.
Adopting this tried and tested technique will help to maximize the reach of our remaining stock, including the 100,000 doses due to arrive in the country next month, potentially enabling us to offer protection for many more thousands of people.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI) and the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) have thoroughly examined the evidence.
The UKHSA is now collaborating with NHS England to test the approach’s viability at pilot clinics at the Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust.
Other clinics include; Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, and Locala Health and Wellbeing in Greater Manchester.
Dr. Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunization at UKHSA, said, “Adopting this tried and tested technique will help to maximize the reach of our remaining stock, including the 100,000 doses due to arrive in the country next month, potentially enabling us to offer protection for many more thousands of people.”
Professor Sir Andrew Pollard, Chair of the JCVI, noted that the use of fractional dosing will allow more people to be vaccinated sooner by optimizing the use of the constrained vaccine supply.
In addition to testing the fractional dose strategy, UKHSA has decided that the post-exposure vaccination offer should only be extended to close contacts who are most at risk of developing a serious illness due to the current shortage of vaccines.
The wider immunization program (pre-exposure offer) eligibility is unaffected by this modification, but immunosuppressed individuals, young children, and pregnant women will receive post-exposure vaccine preference.
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