BRHD starts vaccinating against monkeypox

Published: Jul. 28, 2022 at 5:26 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Confirmed cases of monkeypox are rising in Virginia. The Blue Ridge Health District says it is rolling out the vaccine to help stop the spread.

BRHD is starting to vaccinate people on a case-by-case basis. This comes as the number of monkeypox cases hit 80 in the commonwealth Thursday, July 28.

“They have focused on those individuals who had a highest risk for infection or severe illness due to monkeypox. So individuals will need to screen in if they are at risk for this infection right now,” Jason Elliott with BRHD said. “The state is working with local health districts to make sure that the limited supply that we do have is distributed in a way that is most impactful and preventing the spread of monkey pox throughout the community.”

There are currently two types of vaccines, the majority available in Virginia is Jynneos.

“The distribution has focused on those individuals who are at highest risk for severe infection from monkeypox, or contracting and spreading the disease throughout our community,” Elliott said.

Slowing down the transmission of the disease is key.

“Since the spreads from person-to-person, we are recommending that people call ahead before they visit their primary care provider, their local health departments, or even the emergency room,” Elliott said.

BRHD recommends calling the monkeypox hotline to see if you qualify for a vaccine.

“Calling the health department may not necessarily mean access to a vaccine at this time, because we do have a limited supply. So we’re more than happy to answer questions. Right now we’re going to keep on working to make sure that the vaccine supply increases and that it’s availability does the same,” Elliott said.

The Blue Ridge Health District expects to receive more doses in the near future, but does not have an exact timeline.

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