As Monkeypox Spreads, US Declares Health Emergency

Gay rights activists, who have strongly criticized the administration, have been calling for an emergency declaration for weeks. “It’s too late,” said James Krellenstein, one of the founders of PrEP4All, an advocacy group working to expand treatment for people living with HIV. “I don’t really understand why they didn’t do it a few weeks ago.”

The FDA’s plan to consider fractional doses of Jynneos took some federal scientists by surprise.

There is some evidence to suggest that injecting one-fifth of a regular dose of Jynneos between the layers of the skin would be just as effective as the approach currently used, delivering a full dose under the skin. The skin is rich in immune cells that mediate the response to vaccines, so this approach is sometimes used, especially with rare vaccines, although it requires more skill.

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health had planned to test Jynneos’ strategy in a clinical trial slated to begin in a few weeks, with results expected later in the fall.

“That was our plan, so we’ll have to see how it fits into the new landscape, which has changed,” said Dr. Emily Erbelding, who leads the NIH’s division of microbiology and infectious diseases. “We thought there was a desire to get a more robust data set, but if it’s a race against time, then it’s a different situation.”

“Things are moving fast,” she added.

Declaring an emergency gives the CDC greater access to information from health care providers and states.

During the outbreak, federal health officials regularly shared information about testing capacity or the number of vaccines being shipped to states. But CDC data on the number of cases lags that of local public health departments, and the number of people vaccinated, or their demographic information, is mostly unavailable.

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