Note: The following item was provided by the Georgia Department of Public Health for publication. – KtE
Atlanta – The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) has begun receiving limited doses of monkeypox vaccine. To date, Georgia has received approximately 3,000 doses of JYNNEOS vaccine – enough for 1,500 individuals since this is a two-dose vaccine series. The vaccine has been distributed upon request to health departments and for vaccination events in two counties. Allocations of monkeypox vaccine from the federal government will increase as production of the vaccine ramps up.
To date, DPH has confirmed 93 monkeypox cases in Georgia, all among men living in metro Atlanta. The majority of these cases identify as men who have sex with men. As such we are prioritizing vaccine distribution in five metro counties – Fulton, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Cobb, and Clayton. There is no residency requirement; however, individuals must register for an appointment and meet certain eligibility requirements. JYNNEOS is a two-vaccine series with 28 days in between doses.
Because demand outweighs supply, DPH is following the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and prioritizing monkeypox vaccine for individuals at high risk of infection. Vaccination may be recommended for people who are close personal contacts of people with monkeypox, individuals who may have been exposed to monkeypox, or people who have increased risk of being exposed to the virus such as lab workers. Individuals are urged to speak with their healthcare provider if they are in one of these groups.
People with monkeypox in the current outbreak generally report having close, sustained physical contact with other people who have monkeypox. While many of those affected in the current global outbreaks are gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men, anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has monkeypox can get the illness.
While monkeypox does not spread like COVID-19, everyone should take steps to protect themselves from monkeypox.
- Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox.
- Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox.
- Do not kiss, hug, cuddle, or have close personal contact with someone with monkeypox.
- Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox.
- Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with monkeypox.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
DPH is working to create online scheduling for monkeypox vaccine as our allocations increase. We will keep you updated on when that scheduling system will be ready and provide information on accessing it. Until then, we urge individuals who may have had contact with monkeypox or are high risk of exposure to contact their healthcare provider.
For more information on monkeypox, visit https://dph.georgia.gov/epidemiology/acute-disease-epidemiology/monkeypox or https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/index.html.