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Santa Clara County gearing up for more monkeypox vaccinations

monkeypox jernej furman.jpg
Jernej Furman
Flickr / Creative Commons

Under new federal guidelines, health care providers can use less of the vaccine for each person, increasing the number of people who can get the shot. The dose can now be one-fifth of the amount compared to the full dose used before, Dr. Jennifer Tong, associate chief medical officer for Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, told San Jose Spotlight.

The change has allowed the county and other health care providers across the country to stretch their vaccine supply.

Tong said before a single vial of vaccine could only be used for one patient, but now that same vial can be pulled by five syringes.

For the lower dosage to work properly, Tong said health care workers are now giving people the shots in between the layers of skin on their forearm, instead of under the skin of their upper arm.

There have been more than 14-thousand reported monkeypox infections recorded in the U.S. as of Thursday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Protection. California accounts for more than 26-hundred of those infections. As of Friday, Santa Clara County has recorded 110 highly suspected or confirmed infections which can cause painful lesions or rashes on the skin.

A portion of the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds, long used for COVID-19 vaccination appointments, is now serving as the county's site for monkeypox vaccines. About 300 to 350 people are being vaccinated daily at the fairgrounds.