Saturday, March 25, 2023

ADPH expands Monkeypox vaccine series eligibility


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – Nearly 20,000 people in the US have been infected with Monkeypox. Fortunately, all of them have recovered according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention but it’s still important to slow the spread of this virus.

County health departments across the state are now offering the Monkeypox vaccine series to more people.

The Alabama Department of Public Health is reporting there are now 69 cases of the disease in the state and as the number of cases rise, the number of available vaccines are rising too.

Dr. Wes Stubblefield with ADPH says they don’t want these vaccines sitting on shelves but going in arms, so they expanded eligibility.

Previously, ADPH was offering the vaccine to those who were in close contact with someone diagnosed with Monkeypox. Now, they are adding men who identify as gay or bisexual and are sexually active, along with people deemed at higher risk for infection by a doctor.

While anyone can be infected, ADPH says in this outbreak male to male sexual contact has been a risk factor.

Dr. Stubblefield says this isn’t the only change: “The vaccine is now available to be put in intradermally which is just underneath the skin. What this does is this extends the amount of vaccine. Instead of one dose per vial, it’s actually five doses per vial so that just means that we can get more vaccine in what we already have.”

Stubblefield says while most county health departments are stocked with vaccines, not all are. So it’s important to call your local health department before showing up.


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