At risk individuals now eligible to receive the vaccine before they are exposed
AUSTIN, Texas – Austin Public Health (APH) staff and the Wellness Equity Alliance (WEA) continue to provide the Jynneos monkeypox vaccine to those at risk. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently changed eligibility to ensure at-risk individuals receive the vaccine before they are exposed to monkeypox, rather than after a known or suspected exposure to the virus.
“These vaccines have been critical in reducing the spread of monkeypox here in our community and protecting people from the severe pain the virus can cause,” said Austin-Travis County Health Authority Dr. Desmar Walkes. “We encourage anyone who believes they may be at risk to see if they're eligible for a vaccine and schedule an appointment.”
APH began administering its first doses of the Jynneos monkeypox vaccine in late June and early July to eligible populations following criteria set by the Texas Department of State Health Services and CDC. As those criteria have expanded, more people at risk for severe symptoms from monkeypox are now eligible to receive a vaccine.
Austin-Travis County residents can visit WEA’s website to determine their eligibility and schedule an appointment for a vaccine. Two doses of the Jynneos vaccine are necessary to receive full protection from monkeypox. Anyone who has only received their first dose should follow up with the second dose. Those who need assistance can call the APH Equity Line at 512-972-5560.
“I admire the efforts of staff who have worked long hours to make sure this resource is available to those in need,” said APH Director Adrienne Sturrup. “This work is invaluable when you account for its impact on these patients’ lives.”
Jynneos vaccines are also available through several of APH’s community partners. APH has allocated 3,974 vials of the vaccine to these partners to expand vaccine availability. These partners also provide health care services, including PrEP for HIV.
Austin-Travis County confirmed its first female case of monkeypox last week, adding to the total of 62 female cases reported in Texas. Prevention strategies are important to follow as anyone can get monkeypox regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.
Stop the Spread
The public is urged to follow precautions as monkeypox cases rise in the community. Protective measures include:
- Being fully clothed and avoiding skin-to-skin contact with strangers.
- Limiting close and or/intimate contact to people you know.
- Close contact includes sharing items like drinks and blankets.
- Wearing well-fitting masks in close quarters when social distancing isn’t possible to reduce direct exchange of mouth/nasal fluids.
- Washing/sanitizing your hands as well as cleaning surfaces.
- Staying home if you feel sick or experience any symptoms.