LA County to Expand Distribution of Monkeypox Vaccine, by Invitation Only – Los Angeles

Los Angeles County health officials will increase access to monkeypox vaccinations Monday. However, due to the limited supply of vaccines, only high-risk residents will be able to receive them.

There were 54 monkeypox confirmed cases in the county as of Friday. This is nearly twice the number of cases that occurred a week ago. During an online briefing, public health officials stressed that infection risk in the general population is still very low.

There have been calls to expand access to JYNNEOS’ monkeypox vaccine. However, there are still limited supplies. The county had already given out approximately 1,000 doses. This is a two-dose regimen.

Andrea Kim, director of Vaccine Preventable Disease Control and of the county Department of Public Health said that the county has received an additional 6,000 doses of vaccines. This allows for a slight increase in eligibility. The county will offer shots to those deemed high-risk, although this will take place Monday.

According to previous guidelines, shots were not available to residents who had contact with an existing case or attended an event with a high chance of exposure. Monday will see an expansion of this eligibility to include:

  • Gay and bisexual gay men and transgender woman who have been treated at a clinic for sexual health and have had a diagnosis of early syphilis, rectal gonorrhea and/or early syphilis in the last three months.
  • Men’s Central Jail has a limited number of high risk individuals.

Kim stressed that vaccines would only be given to those who have been specifically contacted in the county. 

“Residents who have not been contacted by Public Health or our clinic partners will not be able to be vaccinated at this time due to limited supply,” she said.

She stated that eligibility will grow as more doses become available. However, she reiterated her belief that the cost of treatment is not a barrier to accessing these medications. “The risk of getting monkeypox in L.A. County is very low.”

Kim believes there are several. “couple of hundred”Men’s Central Jail has potential candidates for the vaccine depending on risk factors. Chief medical officer of Department of Public Health Dr. Rita Singhal said that there have been no confirmed cases among jail inmates. 

According to health officials, the infection can spread through bodily fluids and monkeypox sores. It can also spread through sexual contact and saliva.

Monkeypox is usually a mild illness that resolves within two to four days without any treatment. 

Patients with symptoms should see a doctor immediately. Cover the area with clothing and wear a mask. Avoid skin-to-skin contact.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommends that people who have recently visited an area where monkeypox has been reported or have come into contact with confirmed or suspected monkeypox patients take these steps.

You can find a complete list of countries with confirmed cases of monkeypox at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/alert/monkeypox

About 700 people were infected in the United States and approximately 7,500 across the globe. Because the illness is usually limited to Central and West Africa it has attracted attention. However, concerns have been raised about its spreading to other countries.

Singhal, however, insisted. “The risk of monkeypox in the general population remains very low based on the current information we have available.”

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