Massachusetts Monkeypox vaccine suppliers received an alert from state public health officials that the state is changing its vaccine strategy to focus on one dose amid limited supply.
In a message to Massachusetts health care providers, hospitals, community health centers and local health boards, the state Department of Health announced that the state is moving to a prioritization strategy of the first dose from Monday to ensure that the maximum number of people who are eligible for the monkeypox vaccine get some level of protection.
“This means that, although the vaccine is approved as a two-dose series, we recommend that providers limit the administration of the vaccine to a first dose, a strategy in line with a growing number of other jurisdictions across the country. “, said public health officials. in their statement.
Dr. Ted Calianos, president of the Massachusetts Medical Society, said it was the right decision.
“I think the goal, quite rightly, is to ensure that the most affected populations receive their first dose of vaccine,” he said.
The Biden administration declared monkeypox a public health emergency on Thursday as cases topped 6,600 nationwide. That number had already climbed to 7,100 cases by Friday afternoon.
The declaration could facilitate access to emergency funds, allow health agencies to collect more data on cases and vaccinations, speed up the distribution of vaccines and facilitate the prescription of treatments by doctors.
A quarter of US cases are in New York state, which declared a state of emergency last week. California and Illinois followed suit with emergency declarations on Monday. Monkeypox is rarely fatal and there have been no deaths in the United States during the current outbreak.
There are currently 157 confirmed cases of monkeypox in Massachusetts, 43 in Connecticut, 14 in New Hampshire, two in Maine, 28 in Rhode Island and one in Vermont.
Dr. Kenneth Mayer, director of medical research at Fenway Health, said cases will likely increase in the weeks and months to come before slowing.
“It’s busy, we’ve vaccinated almost 1,500 people so far, up to 100 on any given day, and there’s high demand,” he said.