TEXAS, USA — Dallas County Health Services (DSHS) updated its criteria to get the monkeypox vaccine.
On Tuesday, Aug. 9, U.S. health officials authorized a new monkeypox vaccination strategy designed to stretch limited supplies by allowing health professionals to vaccinate up to five people — instead of one — with each vial.
The so-called dose-sparing approach also calls for administering the Jynneos vaccine with an injection just under the skin rather than into deeper tissue — a practice that may rev up the immune system better. Recipients would still get two shots spaced four weeks apart.
Right now, Dallas County has about 1,500 vials of vaccine. Multiplied by five, intradermally, those vials can vaccinate 7,500 North Texans, WFAA reported.
On Thursday, Aug. 18, Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) announced it's opening a new monkeypox vaccine drive-thru site at its main building for patients who qualify to receive the vaccine. The hours of operation are Monday-Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. DCHHS has also expanded vaccine eligibility after receiving an additional 5,000 doses. Click here for more information.
Here are the guidelines for the monkeypox vaccine in Texas:
People with a known or possible exposure to the Monkeypox virus remain the highest priority for vaccination. Local health entities may also expand vaccination to include pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for people who are at an increased risk of Monkeypox, such as people 18 years of age and older who:
- are men who have sex with men, and
- have had multiple or anonymous sex partners within the previous 21 days.
- men who have had sex with men who met partners through an online website, digital application (app), or social event, such as a bar or party in the past 14 days
DCHHS further recommends prioritizing eligible people who
- have a sex partner who is showing symptoms of monkeypox, such as a rash or sores;
- have had a diagnosis of HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, or early syphilis, within the previous 12 months;
- are on HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis; or
- have a condition that may increase their risk for severe disease if infected with monkeypox virus, such as HIV, atopic dermatitis, or eczema.
- have had close, intimate, skin-to-skin contact with someone who has tested positive for monkeypox
- men (cisgender and transgender) and transwomen who have sex with men who had skin-to-skin or intimate contact (i.e. kissing, hugging) with persons at large venues or events in the past 14 days
This comes after Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins declared a public health emergency on Aug. 5 over the spread of monkeypox cases in North Texas, saying he hopes to get more vaccine doses delivered here as a result.
The declaration was an attempt to "try to open more doors to get vaccines faster because we know that ultimately vaccination will be the key to getting the monkeypox outbreak under control," Jenkins said during a Aug. 5 virtual press conference on the subject.
The local declaration came one day after U.S. officials declared a public health emergency.
To get more information on available vaccines, you should contact your healthcare provider or local health department:
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