The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it was opening applications through its monkeypox vaccine equity pilot program.
The agency said local, state and territorial health departments, as well as tribal governments and local non-governmental organizations or cities currently receiving monkeypox vaccines through the Strategic National Stockpile, can partner to submit requests to access monkeypox vaccine.
The pilot program was intended to reach populations that could face barriers to vaccination, including differences in language, location of vaccination sites, vaccine hesitancy, mistrust of government, lack of access to online scheduling technology, accessibility/disability issues, immigration status and stigma.
Up to 50,000 intradermal doses of the Jynneos vaccine, made by Bavarian Nordic, have been allocated for the program.
“We have a responsibility to address inequities that have been highlighted by this outbreak, and this program will help make a difference,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement. “This outbreak is affecting members of the gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men community at an unequal rate and it has disproportionately affected the Black and Hispanic communities. Distributing monkeypox vaccines in a way that addresses and reduces these disparities is the goal of this program and is a high priority for CDC and our public health partners.”
The CDC said successful proposals would prioritize groups with risk factors that increase their chances of infection and transmission, those who are over-represented among monkeypox cases and less likely to be vaccinated, and those whose barriers to vaccination may be addressed by the activities proposed.
The proposals will demonstrate new and innovative ways to reach those populations based on local or national data.
“If a pilot successfully reaches the intended populations, the jurisdiction will be encouraged to adapt this model for broader implementation with future federally allocated vaccine distributions,” the CDC said. “This process will allow CDC and its public health partners to determine new, successful methods of delivering care to the communities most at need, which will help alleviate the effects of the current outbreak and potentially develop repeatable methods that can be used to avoid these inequities in the future as well.”
Those interested in applying should contact their state or territorial health departments or tribal governments.
Multiple proposals can be submitted per submitting jurisdiction, although the CDC prefers that proposals be submitted simultaneously.