Miami-Dade County has opened two sites that will offer the monkeypox vaccine as the rate of infection climbs week to week in Florida.
As of Tuesday, the state was just shy of 1,000 reported cases of monkeypox. Miami-Dade had 404 cases, double from last week, and quadruple from the week before that.
Even after the Biden Administration declared a public health emergency, vaccines remain scarcely available through community clinics.
At a news conference Wednesday, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said they had received about 5,000 vaccine doses and have asked for additional doses.
"I feel confident that we're ready to swiftly respond to this new threat," Levine Cava said.
On Wednesday morning, the county's website and phone lines were quickly jammed because of the high demand.
In an effort to get more shots out, the FDA announced Tuesday that a single vaccine dose can now be divided up.
The emergency authorization allows healthcare providers to get five doses of the Jynneos vaccine intradermally, under the top layer of the skin.
The lower dosage delivery is supposed to stimulate an immune response because the skin has more immune cells than that of fatty tissue.
Florida International University professor and infectious disease expert Dr. Aileen Marty is critical of the new plan, calling it experimental.
"We’ve never really had a thorough clinical trial in humans demonstrating that this is actually an efficacious mechanism of using this vaccine," she said. "... I think it's important we all know this is not scientifically proven at this time. This is a hope-based best guess."
The FDA continues to recommend that providers administer the two Jynneos vaccine doses in the 28 days apart regimen.
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