LA County expands access to monkeypox vaccine, but still available by invitation only – Daily News
Los Angeles County will expand access to monkeypox vaccines on Monday, July 11, but the limited supply of doses means inoculations will only be available to high-risk residents who are specifically contacted by the Department of Health. public health.
There were 54 confirmed cases of monkeypox in the county as of Friday, July 8, nearly double the number from a week ago. But public health officials insisted in an online briefing on Friday that the risk of infection in the general population remains extremely low.
However, news of additional cases has prompted calls for expanded access to the JYNNEOS monkeypox vaccine, which remains in limited supply. The county had already administered its supply of about 1,000 doses of the vaccine, which is effectively a two-dose schedule.
The county received an additional 6,000 doses, allowing for a slight expansion of eligibility, said Andrea Kim, director of DPH’s vaccine-preventable disease control program. That will happen on Monday, but injections will still only be offered to people deemed high risk by the county.
Under previous guidelines, injections were only offered to residents who had confirmed contact with an existing case or attended an event where there was a high risk of exposure.
This eligibility will expand on Monday to include:
- Gay and bisexual men and transgender women who are patients of a sexual health clinic and have been diagnosed with rectal gonorrhea or early syphilis within the last three months.
- A limited number of high-risk individuals identified by clinical staff at the Central Men’s Prison.
“Residents who have not been contacted by public health or our partner clinics,” Kim said, “will not be able to be vaccinated at this time due to limited supply.”
Eligibility will increase as new doses become available, Kim said, while again stressing that the risk of contracting monkeypox is “very low”.
There are “a few hundred” people at the Men’s Central Jail who might be eligible for the vaccine based on risk factors, Kim said.
Dr Rita Singhal, chief medical officer of the Department of Public Health, said there were no confirmed cases among the inmates so far.
The infection, health officials said, is spread through contact with bodily fluids, monkeypox sores or shared objects such as fluid-contaminated bedding or clothing. It can also be transmitted through saliva and sexual contact.
Most people who develop monkeypox have only mild illness that goes away in two to four weeks without treatment.
People with symptoms are advised to seek medical attention, cover the area of the rash with clothing, wear a mask, and avoid close or skin-to-skin contact with others.
The United States Centers for Disease Control especially recommends these measures to people who have recently traveled to an area where cases of monkeypox have been reported or who have been in contact with confirmed or suspected cases of monkeypox.
A complete list of countries that have confirmed cases of monkeypox is available at wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/alert/monkeypox.
There were about 700 cases in the United States as of Friday, and about 7,500 worldwide in 57 countries. The disease has drawn attention as it is normally restricted to central and western Africa, so its spread to other countries has raised concerns of further contagion.
“The risk of monkeypox in the general population,” Singhal said, “remains very low based on the information we currently have.”