SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — California health officials are requesting an increased supply of monkeypox vaccines, as the state aims to mitigate the spread of the virus.
In a letter to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the California Department of Public Health urges it needs at least 600,000 to 800,000 additional JYNNEOS vaccine doses to expand eligibility.
Officials want to expand eligibility to people who have confirmed or probable exposures and also individuals who are at high risk of the virus.
According to the letter, officials estimate that there are 250,000 to 300,000 individuals who are considered high risk due to having two or more sexual partners.
“When we look at the population who might be bisexual as well as those who are men who have sex with men, we estimate roughly 350,000 individuals who are high risk,” officials said in the letter. “It is also important to ensure adequate vaccine for occupational exposures and prepare for the likelihood of wider speed.”
“Based on this data, our estimate is conservative given the JYNNEOS vaccine requires two doses,” officials continued.
The JYNNEOS vaccine is one of two that are approved by the Food and Drug Administration with the other being ACAM2000.
As of July 20, there are 356 probable and confirmed cases of monkeypox in California, according to the CDC.
In Sacramento County, there are 22 confirmed and probable cases of monkeypox, according to the county’s Department of Health Services website.
“Unlike the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic when we did not have a vaccine to mitigate the spread, in the case of monkeypox we do have an approved vaccine that should be effective,” California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said in a statement. “It is critical for us to work together and across government — federal, state, and local — to mitigate the spread and protect those disproportionally impacted by the virus.”
Currently, Sacramento County is offering monkeypox vaccinations to two groups of people considered at elevated risk: men who have sex with men, and transgender people who meet one or more of the following circumstances:
- Tested positive for an STI in the past two months
- Had two or more sexual partners in the last three weeks
- Attended or worked at a commercial sex venue in the last three weeks
- Had anonymous sex in the past three weeks
- Engaged in sex work in the past three weeks
Those who meet the criteria can visit the Immunization Assistance Program website to schedule a vaccination appointment. The program can also be called at 916-875-7468.