LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Scientists say the fastest way to get the monkeypox outbreak under control is with vaccines and behavior changes, but are people getting the message?
How are doctors increasing access to limited vaccines?
The vaccine is available for gay or bisexual men and transgender people who have had multiple or anonymous sex partners in the last 14 days or who had skin-to-skin or intimate contact with people at large venues or events in the past two weeks.
Shots are also offered to people of any gender or sexual orientation who engaged in commercial and/or transactional sex in the past 14 days.
Despite the limited supply, Los Angeles County announced Friday it’s offering shots on a walk-up basis to eligible residents at its vaccination sites, but only while supplies last at each location.
People who walk into a vaccination site will have to attest to their eligibility to receive a monkeypox inoculation, and the shot will only be
provided if the vaccination location has doses available.
While monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted infection, men who have sex with men and their sexual networks are most affected.
Infectious Disease specialist Dr. Jay Gladstein with APLA Health said the new strategy to stretch out the current supply of Jynneos vaccine is a game changer.
“Since we started using this lower dose, which allows us to multiply the amount of people we can vaccinate with one vial by four or five times, it does make access to vaccines much better,” he said.
Gladstein told Eyewitness News as vaccine eligibility continues to expand, messaging to refrain from risky behavior is equally important.
But he admits the timing is difficult.
“Telling people to stay apart is a very difficult message for people to hear coming on the heels of two and half years of staying apart,” said Gladstein.
Matt Ford, a Los Angeles are resident who was diagnosed with monkeypox in June, believes people in his community are taking the warnings seriously.
“I know a lot of people in their personal lives assume a lot of behavior modification with people they are going out with, parties they are going, hookups, to try to curb any potential exposure,” he said.
A listing of Los Angeles County vaccination sites offering walk-up shots is available online here.
City News Service, Inc. contributed to this report.
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