BOSTON — Massachusetts General Hospital became the first in the country to use the monkeypox vaccine outside of clinical trials this week. The two-dose shot was offered to close contacts of a monkeypox patient who was being treated there.
That patient was the first confirmed case in the country this year.
According to Dr. Paul Biddinger, the hospital received the vaccine from the US strategic national stockpile.
“We’re really grateful. We still think that of all the individuals that were exposed, the risk remains very low, but for a disease like this whatever we can do to ensure that we’re protecting our workers, our patients, others is what we’re going to do. So we’re grateful for the collaborations with the state health department, the CDC. We’re really grateful this is an option right now and we’ve offered it to a small number of individuals and some of them have accepted it and received a dose of the vaccine,” Biddinger said.
The CDC just released guidelines for this vaccine on Friday. They recommend the shots for lab workers who research the virus, people who test positive, and health care workers treating patients.
The CDC has confirmed 13 cases in eight states.
Health officials say monkeypox does not spread easily from person to person and it is not a significant public health threat.
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