The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) announced it has received a shipment of 14,780 doses of the two-dose JYNNEOS monkeypox vaccine on Monday. The delivery from the federal Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) supplements a 3,000 dose supply received earlier this month.
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DSHS has established a Vaccine Allocation and Ordering System through which local health departments can officially request vaccines. Houston and Harris Counties have received separate shipments of approximately 5,000 doses from the SNS.
DSHS said it will distribute doses to local health departments and its regional offices to vaccinate people with a documented or presumed exposure to the monkeypox virus.
DSHS promptly forwarded 5,120 doses to Dallas County Health and Human Services as cases there continue to rise.
Dallas County, which reported its first monkeypox case on July 16th, now has the largest number of confirmed monkeypox cases in Texas at 89. North Texas has 113 of the 231 cases reported in the state, according to the latest DSHS data.
⚠️Monkeypox cases have been identified & continue to increase. Monkeypox Virus (MPV) can affect anyone & will spread from close intimate contact. Symptoms include bumps on the skin. If you have MPV, separate from others & contact a medical provider https://t.co/aOw6OSPHRp pic.twitter.com/iiQ59VxwvV
— Dallas County HHS (@DCHHS) July 24, 2022
The shipment comes on the heels of the World Health Organization’s declaration of a global health emergency for monkeypox over the weekend. More than 18,000 cases have been confirmed around the world, according to the CDC.
Public health officials will continue to prioritize those individuals most at risk of contracting monkeypox due to limited supply of the JYNNEOS vaccine. Additional doses are not expected to be available for Texas until late August or early September.
DSHS said a dose of vaccine can prevent the disease from occurring if given within 4 days of exposure. If given 5 to 14 days after exposure, vaccination may reduce the symptoms but may not prevent the disease entirely.
DSHS reports most monkeypox cases in Texas have been transmitted through direct skin-to-skin contact with the monkeypox rash of an infected person. The disease has circulated mostly among men who have sex with men, though there have been cases outside this population.
Initial symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and exhaustion followed by a rash of raised, flesh-colored bumps that look like pimples or blisters.
DSHS advises people who exhibit such rashes to avoid direct contact with others and contact their health care provider as soon as possible. It is not life threatening but can be very painful.
DSHS is posting monkeypox case counts on the department’s news updates page twice weekly. They include information on cases by geographic region and age group.