NY distributes Monkeypox vaccines amid Feds allocation

Monkeypox Vaccines
FILE – This 1997 image provided by the CDC during an investigation into an outbreak of monkeypox, which took place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), formerly Zaire, and depicts the dorsal surfaces of the hands of a monkeypox case patient, who was displaying the appearance of the characteristic rash during its recuperative stage. The World Health Organization is creating a new vaccine-sharing mechanism to stop the spiraling outbreak of monkeypox in more than 30 countries beyond Africa.
CDC via Associated Press, File

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday, along with the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), announced the distribution of the JYNNEOS vaccine in New York, following an additional allocation of 8,822 doses to New York State from the federal government.

New York City will receive its own allocation of 23,963 doses directly from the federal government.

“New York continues to face a disproportionate number of monkeypox cases,” Gov. Hochul said. “I want to thank President Biden, Dr. Jha and other Administration officials for their partnership to secure additional vaccines for our state.

“While the national supply remains limited, we will continue our efforts to confront this outbreak with the urgency needed to ensure that New York receives its fair share of vaccines and protect our most vulnerable communities,” she added.

In this phase of vaccine distribution (“2B”), NYSDOH has allocated 2,000 of its doses to New York City, given the high number of cases concentrated in the area.

The rest of the State’s allocation will be distributed to counties based on the number of monkeypox cases in their locality, proximity to New York City, and ability to reach vaccine-eligible New Yorkers.

All doses in this allocation are recommended to be administered as a first dose of the two-dose vaccine series.

While vaccine supply remains limited, the governor more vaccine is expected in the coming weeks and months to ensure New Yorkers get both doses needed to be considered fully vaccinated.

“We continue to work with our federal partners to advocate for the vaccine supply New York needs as we ensure New York’s healthcare providers and local county health departments have the guidance, resources and infrastructure they need,” said State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett.

“New Yorkers should stay informed about monkeypox, including symptoms – such as common rashes – how the virus spreads, and what to do following exposure,” she added. “If you have a rash, learn about treatment on our website and contact a healthcare provider.”

NYSDOH said it is committed to an equitable distribution of vaccine, and as it has since Phase 1, eligibility remains focused on individuals with known or likely exposure in areas with the highest number of cases.

In accordance with CDC guidance advising Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) for the current Monkeypox outbreak, those already exposed or likely to have been exposed are prioritized in the State allocation by county.

Eligibility includes the following New Yorkers: Individuals with recent exposure to monkeypox within the past 14 days; those at high risk of a recent exposure to monkeypox, including members of the gay, bisexual, transgender, and gender non-conforming community and other communities of men who have sex with men and who have engaged in intimate or skin-to-skin contact with others in the past 14 days areas where monkeypox is spreading; and individuals who have had skin-to-skin contact with someone in a social network experiencing monkeypox activity, including men who have sex with men who meet partners through an online website, digital application (“app”), or social event, such as a bar or party.

Of the 8,822 doses allocated to New York State from the federal government, 1,000 will be distributed to Nassau County, 1,800 to Suffolk County, 2,600 to Westchester County, 600 to Erie County, 600 to Monroe County, and 300 to Saratoga County – though 100 of Saratoga County’s 300 doses will be taken from doses previously reserved by NYSDOH (from Phase “2A”).

Albany County, which just announced its first case, will receive 40 doses and 2,000 doses will be allocated to New York City.

In addition to vaccine distribution, NYSDOH has launched a comprehensive public education campaign to get monkeypox information directly to New Yorkers.

This includes paid, digital advertising to reach men who have sex with men and the creation of a dedicated website with the latest information on monkeypox.

The website has free, downloadable materials including a palm card, information card, handout, and posters available in both English and Spanish.

Just last week, Hochul and NYSDOH launched a new SMS text message effort to get New Yorkers information about monkeypox, including the ability to opt-in to location-based messages that may include the availability of vaccine and care in New Yorkers’ areas.

Anyone can get monkeypox, which is primarily spread through close, physical contact between people.

Based on the current outbreak, certain populations are being affected more than others, including men who have sex with men.

Information from previous outbreaks around the world indicate that elderly New Yorkers, those with weakened immune systems, pregnant people, and children under 8 years of age may be at heightened risk for severe outcomes.

NYSDOH said all New Yorkers can protect themselves and prevent the spread of monkeypox in their communities: Ask sexual partners whether they have a rash or other symptoms consistent with monkeypox; avoid skin-to-skin contact with someone who has a rash or other monkeypox-related symptoms; and contact a healthcare provider following exposure or symptoms, and check with your local county health department about vaccine eligibility.

NYSDOH said New Yorkers who receive the JYNNEOS vaccine should receive both doses, given four-weeks apart, and stay vigilant until fully vaccinated, two weeks following the second dose.

If you or your healthcare provider suspect you may have monkeypox, isolate at home. If you can, stay in a separate area from other family members and pets.

Follow reputable sources of health information, including NYSDOH, CDC, and your local county health department.

New Yorkers can sign-up for the text campaign by texting “MONKEYPOX” to 81336 or “MONKEYPOXESP” for texts in Spanish. New Yorkers will be able to provide their zip code to opt-in to location-based messaging, if they choose.

For more information about monkeypox, including case counts by county, treatment, and care, visit health.ny.gov/monkeypox.