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Vaccines on the way as Cleveland hits 11 monkeypox cases, health department says

UK Health Security Agency
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The health department said a limited number of vaccines will be distributed in Northeast Ohio to people who have been exposed to the virus.

There are currently 11 cases of monkeypox in Cleveland, the Cleveland Department to Public Health confirmed Friday.

The health department said in a media release that it continues to conduct surveillance and contact tracing and that agency is working on a plan to distribute a small quantity of monkeypox vaccines through specific healthcare organizations, the release said.

The JYNNEOS vaccine prevents monkeypox infection in people ages 18 years and older, according to the release. It can be administered after a recent exposure, but does not provide benefits if given after symptoms appear.

People who have had close contact with someone with monkeypox will be offered the vaccine free of charge, the release said.

The following people are eligible, the health department said:

  • Individuals at high risk of occupational exposure to monkeypox, including people who work in clinical labs performing diagnostic testing
  • Individuals identified as having exposure to monkeypox virus during case investigation and contact tracing activities.
  • Those who had unprotected contact between a person’s skin or mucous membranes and the skin, lesions, or bodily fluids from with patient or contaminated materials like linens and clothing
  • Individuals with attendance at events or venues linked to known monkeypox transmission
  • Any individual who has or is likely to have prolonged intimate contact that would put them at higher risk of being exposed to monkeypox virus

Even once vaccinated, people should avoid close, skin‐to‐skin contact, including intimate contact, with someone who has monkeypox, according to the health department.
The health department says that more information will be available next week regarding where to get the vaccine.

"As more vaccine is allocated to Ohio, we are working to make it available to a larger group of at‐risk persons," the release said. "Anyone with concerns or symptoms should talk to their healthcare provider."

More information and the current number of cases is available on http://www.clevelandhealth.org.

Stephanie is the digital producer of Ideastream Public Media’s health team.