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Provincetown clinic giving 100+ monkeypox vaccines per day; new guidelines in effect

Phillip Capper, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Providers of the monkeypox vaccine have begun using a lower dose in accordance with guidelines from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

The guidelines went into effect on Thursday.

The idea is to stretch the limited supply of vaccine to five times as many patients.

At the Provincetown office of Outer Cape Health Services, a state-designated vaccination site, spokesman Gerry Desautels said staff is working to meet demand at a very busy time of year.

“We have actually made some great progress in whittling down the waiting list,” Desautels said. “There still is a demand, and we are offering over 100 vaccinations per day right now.”

The state guidance changes the way the injections are to be given, saying a lower dose injected into the skin is just as effective as a higher dose under the skin.

The lower dose protocol has been approved by the CDC and FDA.

Most health providers are already trained to do these alternative types of injections, Desautels said.

“Intradermal injections are common,” Desautels said. “They can be used, for example, for a tuberculosis vaccine. And we are having staff review some CDC training videos just to be refreshed on it, even though it is a common occurrence.”

Fully staffing the Outer Cape clinic hasn’t been easy, Desautels said, but the state has provided extra nurses.

“It's such a busy time in Provincetown without the monkeypox or COVID vaccines going on,” Desautels said, “that we do welcome the extra assistance to provide these extra services.”

Clinics are spaced around the state to reach the at-risk population.

On the South Coast, a monkeypox vaccination site is located at Seven Hills Behavioral Health in New Bedford.

Monkeypox vaccine a priority for Provincetown

Jennette Barnes is a reporter and producer. Named a Master Reporter by the New England Society of News Editors, she brings more than 20 years of news experience to CAI.