Monkeypox Vaccine Plan Prods Cities and States to Adopt New Dosing Regimen | Big Indy News
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Monkeypox Vaccine Plan Prods Cities and States to Adopt New Dosing Regimen



WASHINGTON — The White House, under pressure to contain a growing monkeypox outbreak, announced on Thursday that it was sending 1.8 million vaccine doses to jurisdictions that agree to use a new vaccination protocol, as public health officials prepare for Gay Pride events and the return to college campuses, which they fear could hasten spread of the virus.

The Biden administration has not acquired additional doses of the monkeypox vaccine. Instead, it is trying to stretch the existing stockpile by promoting a different method of administration that uses one-fifth as much per shot. Federal health officials say that is just as effective when injected into the skin instead of a full dose into underlying fat.

The White House plan is an effort to encourage cities and states to switch to the so-called intradermal method. Those that have done so, and used 90 percent of their current supplies of vaccine, will be able to order additional doses beginning on Monday, officials said.

“More shots in arms is how we get the outbreak under control,” Robert J. Fenton Jr., the White House monkeypox response coordinator, told reporters on Thursday.

But not all jurisdictions have switched to intradermal dosing — New York City, the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, has yet to begin. And the protocol has raised concerns from some scientists, activists and the vaccine’s manufacturer, Bavarian Nordic.

In a letter last week to President Biden’s health secretary, Xavier Becerra, the company expressed “some reservations” about the system, citing “very limited safety data” and concerns that patients might not receive a required second dose. On Thursday, the company said it had reached an agreement with a U.S.-based contract manufacturer to bottle doses of the vaccine, known as Jynneos, which will ease the current shortage.

The administration’s vaccine distribution plan drew criticism from activists, who said that the better response would be to work with cities and states on a more flexible plan for mixed dosing. In that proposed regimen, some shots would be given into the skin — most likely by major health centers that were equipped to do so — and some would be given in the more traditional way, by providers who were not trained or equipped to switch.

“What they are doing now, first and foremost, is unscientific,” said Joseph Osmundson, a virologist at New York University. “To pretend that 100 percent of doses will be given intradermally is incorrect.”

James Krellenstein, a founder of PrEP4All, an advocacy group for H.I.V. patient care, called Thursday’s announcement about the distribution of vaccine doses “a complete accounting trick.” Activists also say the new protocol could exacerbate existing racial disparities and signal to people of color that they might be getting a lesser dose, despite health officials’ approval.

“Once it starts becoming equitable, now it’s not, ‘We’ll give you the dosage that everyone was getting prior,’ its, ‘We’ll give you the shorter doses,’” said Jennifer Barnes-Balenciaga, a Black transgender woman who is helping to lead RESPND-MI, an epidemiological study on monkeypox.

Officials also said they would distribute 50,000 doses of Tpoxx, an antiviral medication used to treat monkeypox, to cities and states so that providers would have the treatments readily available. Doctors and patients have complained that Tpoxx has been difficult to access — and that many patients were not getting it until more than a week after the onset of symptoms.

Last week, after an article in The New York Times detailed the difficulties doctors and patients faced in acquiring the drug, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, chair of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, urged Mr. Becerra to make the drug more easily accessible.

Thursday’s announcements came as the nation has recorded more than 13,000 cases of monkeypox, an infectious disease that can be extremely painful, though only rarely fatal, and has been spread primarily among men who have sex with men.

There are concerns that upcoming events could further fuel outbreaks.

Universities and colleges are preparing to deal with monkeypox as students return, amid concern that the virus could spread in dorms or at parties. Two big Pride events — Black Pride in Atlanta and Southern Decadence in New Orleans — are scheduled for Labor Day weekend.

On Wednesday, the organizers of Southern Decadence in New Orleans, one of the country’s biggest Pride celebrations, announced they were canceling Bourbon Street Extravaganza, a free concert, over concerns about monkeypox.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the administration would provide messaging guidance to colleges and universities, and would work with local officials to administer vaccine shots at major events. She made clear the government is not trying to discourage attendance from celebrations of gay life.

“These events are important opportunities for people to connect with their community and to enjoy themselves,” Dr. Walensky said. “And they’re also a chance to provide public health messages and resources to otherwise hard to reach populations.”

The New York Times reported earlier this month that the shortage of the Jynneos vaccine was in part because the Department of Health and Human Services failed early on to ask that bulk stocks of the vaccine be bottled for distribution. Bavarian Nordic said the agreement it announced Thursday, with Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing, would “expedite delivery of vials to the U.S. while also freeing up capacity for other countries.”

Gay rights activists have been extremely critical of the administration’s response, particularly when it involves vaccination, as have state and local health officials, who say the vaccine rollout has been confusing and inefficient.

In New York City, Dr. Ashwin Vasan, the health commissioner, said in an interview on Thursday that more time was needed to train people in the method and to speak with community partners about the switch. He also cited equity concerns, saying that providers at community health organizations might be less likely to be trained in the method, and some people might be less willing to get the one-fifth dose.

“I think everyone’s under pressure,” Dr. Vasan said. “I think every jurisdiction is feeling like this is a fast switch. It’s been done quickly. And I hope that our partners will understand that especially in the biggest, most complex city in the country, with the one of the most complex delivery systems in the country, we’re going to take our time and get this right.”

There is limited data on whether Jynneos is safe and effective. The vaccine was approved at its current dose based on small studies showing that it appears to produce an immune response comparable to that of an older smallpox vaccine. Even less evidence supports the use of one-fifth intradermal doses of Jynneos to prevent monkeypox.

Only one study has been conducted directly on intradermal dosing of Jynneos, and while it did not note a decrease in efficacy, it noted more localized side effects like swelling and redness. Dr. Peter Hotez, a vaccine expert at the Baylor School of Medicine in Houston, said he would have preferred the government to do an additional pilot study on intradermal dosing before switching vaccination strategies midstream.

“Collect more data on a few thousand individuals, not only for the immunological parameters, but safety, to confirm the safety effects are not worse than we thought,” he said. But overall, he felt intradermal dosing was an “innovative approach” to address the problem of supply.

The approach has been used to stretch vaccine supply for other diseases, according to Dr. Bruce Weniger, an expert on the intradermal technique and a former C.D.C. scientist. In a public health emergency, he said, officials must make recommendations based on what seems plausible from prior evidence and experience, limited as they might be.

“Avoiding recommendations because there’s no perfectly apposite data is a cop-out,” he added. “On the other hand, easily and quickly performed clinical trials could indicate” how well a one-fifth dose would match up against the full dose.

Federal scientists were poised to start just such a trial in the fall, but the shortfall of vaccine doses pushed the administration to move ahead without those results.

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Love Letter: A Mysterious Delivery



After Charlotte Maya lost her husband to suicide, she and her young sons were used to unexpected visitors. But when her doorbell rang one mid-December evening, nobody was there.

Instead, on her doormat was a kit to make a gingerbread house with a note that only said, “On the First Day of Christmas. … ”

In this week’s Modern Love essay, “When a Doorbell’s Ring Means Hope,” Ms. Maya describes how a series of mysterious deliveries buoyed her family during their darkest days.

Join the 7-Day Happiness Challenge.

Research shows that the single most important driver of happiness is the strength of our relationships. Sign up for a week of exercises from the New York Times Well desk that will help set you up for a happier, more connected year.

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How One Japanese-American Designer Is Revitalizing Vintage Kimonos



In her Brooklyn studio, designer Sara Sakanaka keeps a small drawstring bag that her grandmother made for her decades ago. Sewn from textile scraps, the striped pouch is one of Sakanaka’s oldest keepsakes, an heirloom representing a generations-old philosophy. “My mom used to tell me this story. It was about how if we treat objects with love and care for one hundred years, they can obtain a soul,” she shares as pours each of us a cup of Mugicha, a Japanese Barley tea that she grew up drinking. We met at her studio on a gray Tuesday morning, where a collection of silk separates, each made from reclaimed Japanese kimonos, hangs neatly. On a shelf, folded piles of salvaged textiles wait for her to sew them into something new, just like her grandmother once did as a hobby. “There’s this whole idea that objects have lives,” she says. “I like to see every piece as a true considered object in that way.” 

Nick Krasznai / courtesy of Considered Objects 

It makes sense then that Sakanaka would name her own label Considered Objects. The 39-year-old launched her line—a collection of hand-sewn jackets, dresses, and shirtings that are made entirely from reclaimed Japanese kimonos and textiles—just two years ago. “I never had the dream of starting a business,” she shares. “I was happy working toward someone else’s vision. But at some point, there’s this part of you that wants to explore what you want to say. It took time for me to be able to discover that.” 

Sakanaka has a lot to say. With 20 years of experience under her belt, she has developed a design philosophy of her own. “I have no interest in buying new materials or producing with mills,” she says while showing me the intricate, hand-stitched panels of a vintage summer kimono. As she points out its cotton lining and hand-painted family crests (her own paternal and maternal family crests are tattooed on each of her arms), it becomes clear that she is not just making clothing; she’s stitching age-old stories into contemporary garments. “After years of working at different fashion brands, I found that you can get stuck on this hamster wheel. What has always grounded me was the question, ‘how can I not only find true meaning in these things, but how can I offer connection through these pieces?’”

Nick Krasznai / courtesy of Considered Objects 

Nick Krasznai / courtesy of Considered Objects 

An FIT graduate, the apparel designer previously worked for fashion label Imitation of Christ, luxury line Ports 1961, bespoke womenswear collection Honor, and the Japanese fashion house Foxey. In 2020, after spending nearly four years traveling back and forth between New York and Japan for work, she felt she was ready for something new. “I started to wonder how I would mentally, physically, and creatively sustain. I was burnt out.” she tells me. Around that time, her grandmother, the one who gave her the collaged drawstring bag and taught her how to sew, passed away. “This was during the pandemic, so I wasn’t able to attend her funeral in Japan. I had previously inherited her collection of kimonos and rediscovered them during that time. I had completely forgotten about them, but learning about them became part of my grieving process. Having those made me feel close to her,” Sakanaka reflects. 

It was then that she took a page from her grandmother’s book. “Studying these shambled garments and giving them new life through reconstruction was a way for me to heal while reconnecting with myself and my culture,” she says. Preserving the original rectangular panels and stitching style from each kimono, the designer began dismantling and reassembling each one. Her first design? A classic, collared, button-down shirt. Inside each shirt she constructed, Sakanaka sewed a layered patchwork flower made from leftover silk scraps. “That flower, that mark, it was sort of my way of memorializing the whole experience of my creation and of finding closure. It was a way of bestowing my honor upon each piece.” 

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Here’s How to Style 5 Luxurious Loungewear Sets This Winter



All products featured on Vogue are independently selected by our editors. However, we may earn affiliate revenue on this article and commission when you buy something.

Cozying up for the winter has never looked chicer courtesy of luxurious loungewear sets from The Row, Wardrobe.NYC, Éterne, and more. Crafted from ultra-soft cashmeres and sultry silks, these matching sets are as indulgent as it gets and can be worn in the comfort of your own home or out and about for casual coolness. As the newly appointed foundation of your winter wardrobe, styling a luxe loungewear set properly can offer both ease and elegance at the same time. 

For an elevated errand ensemble, The Row’s ‘Jaspar’ hoodie and matching ‘Anton’ wide-leg pants are knitted from the softest of cashmere. The chic combination is so comfortable that you won’t want to change once you get home. Enhance the look with stylish sneakers from Nike, plush cable-knit socks from Johnstons of Elgin, and Nothing Written’s minimalist bag. Loungewear sets, like this cashmere turtleneck and midi skirt pairing from Altuzarra, also have the power to be dressed up for festive evenings out, especially when adorned in jewels from Missoma and Laura Lombardi. A matching activewear set from Sporty & Rich ensures that you arrive at any workout in style. Sofa-ready outfits from Wardrobe.NYC and Olivia Von Halle help curate the perfect night in this holiday season and beyond. 

This winter, investing in a loungewear set has never looked better. Below, here are five ways to style luxe loungewear sets that are as comfortable as they are chic. (Plus, also find a few more statement sets to add to your winter wardrobe.) 

The Elegant Errand Runner

Nothing says chic errand runner like this matching cashmere hoodie and pant set from The Row. Knitted from the softest of cashmere, it’s a chic combination so comfortable that you won’t want to change once you get home. Enhance the look with stylish sneakers from Nike, plush cable-knit socks from Johnstons of Elgin, and Nothing Written’s minimalist bag. Jewels from Mejuri are welcome embellishments. 

The Row Jaspar cashmere hoodie

The Row Anton cashmere high-rise pants

Johnstons of Elgin cable-knit cashmere socks

Nothing Written Ferry bag

Mejuri bold Croissant dôme huggies

The Cozy, Yet Chic Evening Look 

A loungewear set doesn’t have to be confined to the comforts of your own home or even resemble a traditional sweatsuit, for that matter. Case in point: find this dazzling skirt set from Altuzarra that is crafted from pure cashmere. Complete the elegant evening ensemble with Saint Laurent’s croc-effect pumps and Anine Bing’s minimalist handbag. Drip in gold thanks to Missoma hoop earrings and Laura Lombardi’s cult-classic necklace. 

Saint Laurent Blade chain croc-effect leather slingback pumps

Anine Bing Colette shoulder bag

Missoma x Lucy Williams chunky entwine hoop earrings

Laura Lombardi Calle gold-plated necklace

The Statement Sporty Attire

When it comes to activewear, a matching set, like this one from Sporty & Rich, will ensure that you arrive at any workout in style. Go one step further and tie the brand’s ‘Wellness’ sweatshirt around your waist for extra comfort. New Balance ‘Core’ sneakers are a staple in any workout wardrobe, as are these Bala Bangles and Stanley’s tumbler to keep you nice and hydrated. 

Sporty & Rich appliquéd cotton-jersey sweatshirt

Sporty & Rich cropped printed stretch-jersey tank

Sporty & Rich printed stretch-jersey leggings

New Balance 574 Core sneakers

Stanley Quencher H2.O travel tumbler, 40oz

The Luxurious Loungewear Set

Wardrobe.NYC x Hailey Bieber’s simple grey sweatshirt and sweatpants are prime examples of luxurious loungewear. Wear with a coveted pair of Birkenstocks—or even heels for an elevated athleisure look. But because we’re sticking with loungewear, cozy up even more courtesy of cashmere socks from Raey and Brunello Cucinelli’s alpaca-blend blanket. Loewe’s scented candle is an immediate ambiance enhancer. 

Wardrobe.NYC x Hailey Bieber cotton sweatshirt

Wardrobe.NYC x Hailey Bieber wide-leg cotton sweatpants

Birkenstock Boston shearling clogs

Raey ribbed cashmere-blend socks

Brunello Cucinelli speckled-jacquard fringed alpaca-blend blanket

Loewe Home Scents Honeysuckle medium scented candle, 610g

The Perfect Pair of Pajamas 

Olivia Von Halle’s ‘Coco’ pajama set is crafted from the finest of satins to create a soft-to-the-touch feel you’ll never want to take off. Meanwhile, Ugg slippers are the perfect accoutrement. Continue to wind down with the help of scented bath salts from Maude and Augustinus Bader’s luxurious face cream. Reflect on your day with The Five Minute Journal and finally get some shut-eye thanks to Brooklinen’s silk eye mask. 

Olivia Von Halle Coco silk-satin pajama set

Ugg Scuffette II slippers

Brooklinen Mulberry silk eyemask

Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream with TFC8® face moisturizer

Maude Soak No. 2 nourishing mineral bath salts

Shop More: 

Leset Lauren cropped stretch-knit cardigan

Leset Lauren stretch-knit wide-leg pants

Éterne oversized crewneck sweatshirt

Éterne classic sweatpants

Lisa Yang Jonny cap-sleeved cashmere sweater

Lisa Yang Sierra wide-leg cashmere trousers

Zara basic hoodie sweatshirt

Girlfriend Collective ReSet cropped stretch recycled top

Girlfriend Collective compressive stretch recycled flared leggings

Le Kasha Etretat organic cashmere sweater

Le Kasha Sumbal cashmere wide-leg pants

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