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Cutting Monkeypox Vaccine Dosage Is No Easy Fix, Officials Say

Strained public-health departments are struggling to pivot to the Biden administration’s plan to extend vaccine supplies.

Residents wait in line to receive a monkeypox vaccination in San Francisco on Aug. 9.

Residents wait in line to receive a monkeypox vaccination in San Francisco on Aug. 9.

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

The US government’s solution to the monkeypox vaccine shortage is so far only causing headaches for strained public health departments as the outbreak continues to grow in scale and scope.

The so-called dose-sparing strategy allows those giving out the vaccine to use just one-fifth of what’s traditionally given in attempt to squeeze more doses out of the existing supply. While sounding good in theory, the move requires “a significant shift in operations” for local health departments, Allison Arwady, Chicago’s public health commissioner, said during a Big Cities Health Coalition meeting. And it could be weeks before clinicians actually start employing this strategy, she said.