241: Monkeypox Vaccine Strategy

Dr. Marcus Plescia, ASTHO’s Chief Medical Officer, discusses the plan to stretch monkeypox vaccine supplies by giving smaller doses;  Arjun Srinivasan, Associate Director for Healthcare Associated Infection Prevention Programs with the CDC,...


Dr. Marcus Plescia, ASTHO’s Chief Medical Officer, discusses the plan to stretch monkeypox vaccine supplies by giving smaller doses;  Arjun Srinivasan, Associate Director for Healthcare Associated Infection Prevention Programs with the CDC, explains a CDC special report that says cases of antimicrobial resistant infections are rising again and COVID-19 is getting the blame; and Denise Octavia-Smith, Executive Director of the National Association of Community Health Workers, tells us community health workers are diverse and proven members of the public health workforce.

ASTHO Press Release: Statement from ASTHO Chief Medical Officer Marcus Plescia, MD, MPH on Monkeypox Outbreak in U.S.

CDC Webpage: COVID-19 Reverses Progress in Fight Against Antimicrobial Resistance in U.S.

CDC Webpage: 2022 SPECIAL REPORT – COVID-19 U.S. Impact on Antimicrobial Resistance

ASTHO Blog Article: A Grassroots Leader’s Vision for the Future Community Health Workforce

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Transcript

ROBERT JOHNSON:

This is Public Health Review Morning Edition for Monday, August 15th, 2022. I'm Robert Johnson.

Now, today's news from the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.

 

MARCUS PLESCIA:

I think that the Food and Drug Administration has a lot of confidence that this is viable and it will work. And so, that's good, and we're just going to have to find ways to communicate that to people.

JOHNSON:

ASTHO Chief Medical Officer Dr. Marcus Plescia talking about the plan to stretch monkeypox vaccine supplies by giving smaller doses.

PLESCIA:

I think anytime you change course, like we're doing with this, it's going to cause some people to be concerned. Are we sure this will work?

You know, I think that in communities that have a lot of mistrust because of the legacy of how they've been treated previously, you know, there may be concerns of, you know, are you doing something that's sub-standard because you're dealing with our community? And I think we're going to have to be really careful how we communicate that as well.

JOHNSON:

Plescia says agencies will have to lean on their relationships with impacted communities to explain the changes.

PLESCIA:

My hope is that many of them have sort of built some trusting relationships where, you know, when we say no, we, we really have checked this out. We think it's going to be okay. We're confident that this new vaccine administration will work just as well as the way we started out.

My hope is that we'll have people who will believe that and trust that, and then they can take it back into their communities where they have much better inroads and relationships than we do.

JOHNSON:

He says many ASTHO members also are concerned about the way the monkeypox vaccine is administered under this new plan.

PLESCIA:

You know, we've got a lot of very capable people in state and local health departments who have been trained to give vaccines this way. And if they haven't, they can be trained and they'll probably pick up the new technique pretty carefully.

But I know this is something I've heard a lot from members that they're concerned about this and you know, what if they give the vaccine in this new way, but they don't do it right. What do they do then?

JOHNSON:

ASTHO issued a statement on the monkeypox outbreak last week. You can read it using the link in the show notes.

 

Cases of antimicrobial resistant infections are rising again, and COVID-19 is getting the blame.

Arjun Srinivasan is with the CDC. He says infections were dropping until the pandemic.

ARJUN SRINIVASAN:

We saw about a 15% increase in antimicrobial resistant infections in 2020 during the first year of the pandemic compared to 2019. So that, you know, is a total reversal of those trends that we were seeing before the pandemic. So, not only did the trends reverse, but we lost a lot of grounds and we lost a lot of people.

JOHNSON:

Srinivasan says the results are discouraging.

SRINIVASAN:

It's discouraging because of the increases that we saw in antimicrobial resistant infections. And that is predominantly in those organisms that we see in healthcare settings, about nine of the organisms where we saw those increases.

But it's also discouraging because for fully half of the pathogens that we have been tracking, we had no data for 2020. So, we were unable to even tell whether or not those infections had gotten worse and, if so, how much.

JOHNSON:

You can read the CDC special report about antimicrobial resistant infections using the link in the show notes.

 

Also this morning, community health workers are diverse and proven members of the public health workforce. That's according to Denise Octavia-Smith, executive director of the National Association of Community Health Workers. She's talking about the work they do in a new ASTHO blog article. There's a link to it in the show notes.

 

Finally today, just a reminder if you're listening for the first time or every day, make sure to follow the newscast. There's a follow button on every podcast player. When you select that option, you'll get every report delivered to your mobile device when it's posted.

Also, if you have a minute, we'd love your feedback. You can rate and review us right where you're listening.

 

That'll do it for today's newscast. We're back tomorrow morning with more ASTHO news and information.

I'm Robert Johnson. You're listening to Public Health Review Morning Edition. Have a great day.

Marcus Plescia MD MPH

Chief Medical Officer, ASTHO

Arjun Srinivasan MD

Associate Director, Healthcare Associated Infection Prevention Programs