EU countries could use lower doses to boost supply of monkeypox vaccine, agency says

The European Medicines Agency said on Friday that countries in the European Union may temporarily use smaller doses of the monkeypox vaccine in order to boost supplies.

The big picture: The EU drug regulator’s announcement comes after the US Food and Drug Administration said earlier this month it was considering a “dose-saving” approach that would divide Jynneos monkeypox vaccine doses in fifths.

Driving the news: The EMA advised in a Press release that national authorities can use the smaller dose “to protect those at risk during the current outbreak of monkeypox when vaccine supplies remain limited”.

  • The data showed that people who received one-fifth of the standard dose “produced similar antibody levels” to those who received the normal dose, according to the press release.

Background: The dose-saving approach requires a different injection method than the normal approach.

  • While the full dose is given with a subcutaneous injection or an injection into the fatty layer under the skin, the smaller dose is given with an intradermal injection or an injection into the dermis. The dermis sits just below the top layer of skin known as the epidermis.
  • The European agency’s emergency task force noted that “only healthcare professionals with experience of intradermal injections should administer the vaccine in this way”.