Massachusetts General vaccinating employees against monkeypox

Boston-based Massachusetts General Hospital this week began vaccinating some employees against monkeypox who were in close contact with a patient diagnosed with the virus, The Boston Globe reported May 26.

Previously, the Jynneos monkeypox vaccine had been used in the U.S. only in clinical trials, Brett Petersen, MD, deputy chief of the CDC's Poxvirus branch, confirmed to the newspaper. 

The workers were in close contact with the male patient, who was hospitalized at Massachusetts General Hospital from May 12-20.

As of May 25, the CDC had identified nine monkeypox cases in seven states, according to CNN. The identified cases include the one in Massachusetts as well as cases in Florida, Utah, Washington, California, Virginia and New York.

In Boston, Massachusetts General Hospital officials separated potentially exposed workers into groups based on risk level, and as of May 26, fewer than 10 workers had been vaccinated, Paul Biddinger, MD, chief preparedness and continuity officer for Mass General Brigham, told the Globe.

Dr. Biddinger also called the effort "quite labor intensive," telling the newspaper, "It took a huge number of people working all last week and through the weekend to make sure we could deliver the vaccines to those who wanted it and needed it."

The vaccine the workers received is approved in adults 18 and older, according to the CDC. It is administered as two subcutaneous injections four weeks apart.

Read the full Globe report here

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