Monkeypox: Two-Dose Jynneos Vaccine Proven Potent, Data Shows

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Low-dose monkeypox vaccination presents several challenges - STAT
Monkeypox vaccination – Photo credit: STAT News

The Two-Dose Jynneos Monkeypox Vaccine has proven to be effective in preventing the spread of monkeypox cases, as preliminary data from 32 jurisdictions in the U.S. show improvement in infection rates.

Data published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently show significant progress in  the management of the infection with Jynneos Vaccine.

In comparing the vaccination rates and those not vaccinated, researchers were able to preliminarily quantify how effective the vaccine is, CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky said during a briefing.

People who had received the first dose of the two-dose Jynneos vaccine were 14 times less likely to get infected with monkeypox at least two weeks later than those who were unvaccinated.

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Walensky said “the results provide a level of cautious optimism that the vaccine is working as intended. I urge people to receive the second dose as recommended—28 days after the first—in order to benefit from the strongest, most durable protection against infection.”

The findings also prompted the CDC to expand the group of people who are eligible for Jynneos to include those who might be at high risk of exposure to the virus; they can now use the vaccine as a way to protect themselves proactively. These include partners of people who might be at high risk of exposure, as well as commercial sex workers. Known as pre-exposure prophylaxis, this practice represents a shift in the U.S. government’s strategy in controlling the outbreak.

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Dr Demetre Daskalakis, White House monkeypox response deputy coordinator, during the briefing said “Expanding eligibility will be critical to making sure we keep getting vaccines into arms for both the first and second doses. It means more people at present or future risk of monkeypox now qualify for the vaccine.”

While cases of monkeypox continue to decline—the U.S. currently has about 200 a week, compared to a peak of about 1,000 weekly cases in August—that’s largely due to increased education about the disease and risk factors, as well as the countrywide vaccination program, officials said.

Jynneos was approved in the U.S. to control smallpox and monkeypox in 2019. The monkeypox approval was based on data from animals’ studies, since cases of the disease were not widespread in the U.S. at the time. The animal data provided a proxy for how well the shot would work in people, which now seems to be supported by real-world data.

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