Story at a glance
- The Florida Department of Health has tracked 1,085 cases of the monkeypox virus across the state, reporting roughly double the cases from last week.
- In order to deal with rising cases, health officials are only administering the first of the two-dose vaccine regiment.
- Washington, D.C., has also taken this approach to its vaccine stockpile and the Biden administration is working on boosting the nation’s vaccine stockpile.
The Florida Department of Health is allowing two doses of the Jynneos monkeypox vaccine to be administered to residents again.
After cases doubled over the past week, state health officials began to ration the state’s supply of monkeypox vaccines — only allowing the first of a two-dose regimen to be given.
But days after the Food and Drug Administration approved a different method of administering the vaccine, Florida health officials told Changing America that it will start to re-administer second doses and reschedule previously canceled vaccination appointments made by residents.
“Preventing the spread of monkeypox is a priority for the Department of Health,” said health department spokesperson Jeremy Redfern.
“We will continue to make adjustments as more supplies are made available from the federal government.”
Following a rising number of monkeypox cases, Florida initially announced earlier this week that it will administer one dose of the two-dose regimen to ration its supply of the vaccine.
But on Tuesday, the Biden administration authorized a new federal monkeypox vaccine distribution plan to potentially vaccinate up to five times as many people.
Now, instead of delivering the monkeypox vaccine subcutaneously, or into the fatty tissue under the skin, the inoculation can be injected intradermally, or just beneath a person’s first layer of skin.
This approach requires a smaller amount of the vaccine but can cause the skin where the vaccine was administered to bubble and potentially scar, according to The Washington Post.
By doing this, health officials hope to expand the country’s limited stockpile of monkeypox vaccines from 441,000 doses up to 2.2 million, according to ˚NY1
Monkeypox is a poxvirus similar to smallpox or cowpox, and is spread by skin-to-skin contact, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Symptoms of the disease are usually a rash formed by small blisters around the genitals, hands, feet, chest or face and flu-like symptoms including fever, chills and fatigue, according to the CDC.
Florida is not the only place in the country that decided to try to stretch out its monkeypox vaccine supply.
Last month, the Washington, D.C., health department announced it would postpone administering second doses of the monkeypox vaccine to residents due to a rapid increase in cases.
“Given the rapid increase in monkeypox cases, and the very limited supply of vaccine, DC Health has decided the most urgent priority is providing first doses of vaccine to high-risk residents,” the health department said in a message to residents.
READ MORE STORIES FROM CHANGING AMERICA