Los Angeles County is aligning with federal guidelines on distribution of monkeypox vaccines, offering the shots to people who have had confirmed contact with an existing case or who attended an event where there was a high risk of exposure.
Doses of the JYNNEOS vaccine are limited in supply, and only people who are specifically contacted by the county Department of Public Health will be eligible to receive it. According to the county, nearly 800 doses have already been administered locally.
“As vaccine supply increases, Public Health will align with the federal strategy of administering the monkeypox vaccine to others in high-risk groups,” according to the county.
As of this week, there were 30 known cases of monkeypox in the county. Health officials last week confirmed local transmission of the virus, noting that some recently identified patients had no history of recent travel that might account for their infections, and some attending large events that may have spread the illness.
Health officials said the infection spreads through contact with bodily fluids, monkeypox sores or shared items such as bedding or clothing that were contaminated with fluids. It can also be transmitted through saliva and sexual contact.
Most people who develop monkeypox have only a mild illness that goes away within two to four weeks without treatment. People with symptoms are urged to visit a medical provider, cover the rash area with clothing, wear a mask and avoid close or skin-to-skin contact with others.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention particularly recommends those steps for people who recently traveled to an area where monkeypox cases have been reported, or who have had contact with confirmed or suspected monkeypox cases. A full list of countries that have confirmed monkeypox cases is available at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/alert/monkeypox.