Title: Independent Panel Recommends Routine Vaccination for High-Risk Individuals in the US
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has received a strong recommendation from an independent panel of experts regarding the vaccination of men who have sex with men and other high-risk individuals against mpox. The panel, which advises the CDC on vaccine decisions, highlighted the importance of continuing the administration of two doses of the Jynneos vaccine in these populations.
In a unanimous vote, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) approved the panel’s recommendation. This marks a significant shift from the previous guidance, which only recommended vaccinating high-risk individuals during outbreaks. The new recommendation suggests including routine vaccinations as a standard part of sexual healthcare.
Dr. Mandy Cohen, the Director of the CDC, must provide formal approval for the recommendation before its implementation can move forward. The decision comes in the wake of a recent outbreak in which over 31,000 Americans were diagnosed with mpox, leading to 55 fatalities. Notably, a majority of the affected individuals were gay men.
High-risk individuals in the US include gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men, transgender and non-binary individuals who have received recent diagnoses of sexually transmitted diseases, those with multiple sexual partners, or individuals engaged in sexual activity in venues or events where mpox was spreading.
The new recommendation means that more than 2 million people in the US will be eligible for vaccination. However, statistics suggest that only approximately 23% of this eligible group has received the necessary two doses of Jynneos thus far. This highlights the need for increased efforts to ensure that those at risk are adequately protected.
Notably, Bavarian Nordic, the manufacturer of the Jynneos vaccine, is preparing for a commercial launch in the US during the first half of 2024. This development is crucial, as it will provide access to a targeted and effective vaccine for high-risk individuals.
In conclusion, the independent panel’s recommendation for routine vaccination of high-risk individuals against mpox has been unanimously approved by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. With millions of Americans now eligible for vaccination, it is crucial to increase awareness and access to prevent further outbreaks and protect the health and well-being of those at risk.