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Changes to Administration Method Will Also Expand Reach

Learn more about monkeypox: health.ny.gov/monkeypox

The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) today announced new federal plans to accelerate distribution of the JYNNEOS vaccine. In early August, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced plans to send approximately 110,000 more doses of vaccine to New York State and New York City, with 40 percent released in the first stage of Phase 3 in the days that followed. Phase 3b and 3c have now been combined to accelerate the release of vaccine, with 3,560 vials ordered and expected to be delivered by this week.

CDC’s plan to release all remaining Phase 3 doses follows the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recent emergency use authorization of the intradermal (ID) administration of the JYNNEOS vaccine, which will deliver a full vaccine dose of 0.1 ml in between the layers of skin of recipients. This administration method will allow four-to-five full doses to be made available from each vial, enabling more widespread vaccination.

The CDC is also accelerating the deployment of the next phase of distribution – Phase 4 – which will enable vaccines to reach more eligible New Yorkers more quickly. Federal allocation of vaccine doses available to NYS for Phase 4 is expected early next week. Adjustment of dosing levels based on administration method is common in medicine, with antibiotics, vaccines, and anesthesia dose levels all dependent on routes of administration. A study showed that the immunogenicity of intradermal route using 0.1 ml as a full dose is consistent with the previously approved subcutaneous method using 0.5 ml as a full dose.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said, “Our primary goal is to prevent the spread of this virus by increasing the immunity of as many at-risk individuals as possible. This latest delivery of vaccine vials from the federal government, delivered by the newly authorized method of administration, will mean more vaccine doses for more people.”

With the JYNNEOS vaccine, the ID method and associated doses is expected to deliver the same immune response, based on the data available. Now, each vial will contain between four and five doses, depending on administration technique, and will allow better protection for many more individuals.

Providers have already begun ordering supplies, training, and preparing for ID administration of the JYNNEOS vaccine. In New York State, providers and LHDs will quickly transition to ID administration. By August 29, NYSDOH expects all providers to be using the ID method for both first and second doses.

Of the 3,560 new vaccine vials ordered and delivered in the coming days, 900 will be delivered to Suffolk; 440 to Erie; 400 to Nassau; 300 Orange; 140 to Monroe; 100 to Columbia; 40 to Rockland; and 20 to Sullivan.

The Department will also reserve 100 vials for counties in event of new cases identified and will allocate 520 vials to ensure adequate vaccine supply to meet scheduled second doses.

NYSDOH remains strongly committed to an equitable distribution of vaccine, and eligibility remains focused on individuals with known or likely exposure in areas with the highest number of cases.

In accordance with CDC guidance advising Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) for the current Monkeypox outbreak, those already exposed or likely to have been exposed are prioritized in the State allocation to counties.

Current eligibility includes the following New Yorkers:

  • Individuals with recent exposure to monkeypox within the past 14 days.
  • Those at high risk of a recent exposure to monkeypox, including members of the gay, bisexual, transgender, and gender non-conforming community and other communities of men who have sex with men and who have engaged in intimate or skin-to-skin contact with others in the past 14 days areas where monkeypox is spreading.
  • Individuals who have had skin-to-skin contact with someone in a social network experiencing monkeypox activity, including men who have sex with men who meet partners through an online website, digital application (“app”), or social event, such as a bar or party.

While current eligibility for the vaccine remains unchanged per CDC guidance, the transition to intradermal administration will eventually enable vaccines to reach more New Yorkers through pre-exposure prophylaxis, which would expand the prevention strategy and potentially reduce transmission.

In addition to vaccine distribution, NYSDOH has launched a comprehensive public education campaign to get monkeypox information directly to New Yorkers. This includes paid, digital advertising to reach men who have sex with men and the creation of a dedicated website with the latest information on monkeypox. The website has free, downloadable materials including a palm card, information card, handout, and posters available in both English and Spanish. Just last week, Governor Hochul and NYSDOH launched a new SMS text message effort to get New Yorkers information about monkeypox, including the ability to opt-in to location-based messages that may include the availability of vaccine and care in New Yorkers’ areas.

Anyone can get monkeypox, which is primarily spread through close, physical contact between people. Based on the current outbreak, certain populations are being affected more than others, including gay, bisexual, transgender, and gender non-conforming men who have sex with men. Information from previous outbreaks around the world indicate that older New Yorkers, those with weakened immune systems, pregnant people, and children under 8 years of age may be at heightened risk for severe outcomes.

New Yorkers can sign-up for the text campaign by texting “MONKEYPOX” to 81336 or “MONKEYPOXESP” for texts in Spanish. New Yorkers will be able to provide their zip code to opt-in to location-based messaging, if they choose.

For more information about monkeypox, including case counts by county, treatment, and care, visit health.ny.gov/monkeypox.