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FDA expands monkeypox vaccine authorization to increase dose supply, allows shots for children

  • The FDA will allow health-care providers to administer the shots through intradermal injection, or between the layers of the skin, for adults.
  • This will increase the supply of monkeypox shots by as much as fivefold, according to the FDA.
  • The emergency authorization also allows people under age 18 to receive the vaccine if they are at high risk of monkeypox infection.
  • People under age 18 would receive the shot through subcutaneous injection, or beneath the skin.

A health worker administers a dose of the Bavarian Nordic A/S Jynneos monkeypox vaccine at a vaccination site in West Hollywood, California, on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022.Jill Connelly | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday expanded its authorization for the monkeypox vaccine in a way that would significantly boost the limited supply of shots.

The FDA is also now allowing children to receive the vaccine if they are at high risk of monkeypox infection. Dr. Peter Marks, head of the FDA's vaccine division, said there has been an increase in possible exposures among children over the past week.

Health-care providers can now administer the shots to adults through intradermal injection, or between the layers of the skin. This will increase the supply of doses by as much as fivefold, according to the FDA. The vaccine is traditionally administered through subcutaneous injection, which goes into the fat layer beneath the skin.

The intradermal injections for adults use a lower volume dosage that will allow 400,000 vials in the strategic national stockpile to provide up to 2 million shots, according to Robert Fenton, the White House monkeypox response coordinator.

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