San Antonio Metropolitan Health District announced on August 2 that it received 1,000 doses of the monkeypox vaccine Jynneos from the Texas Department of State Health Services.
As of August 3, 14 cases of monkeypox have been identified in San Antonio.
The vaccine has been proven to prevent monkey pox and is approved by the FDA. However, it is only available in limited quantities to individuals who meet certain criteria. Metro Health established three Priority Groups that define who is eligible for a vaccination.
- Priority Group 1 is for exposed individuals identified through contact tracing.
- Priority Group 2 is for those who have “presumed exposure” who know that a sexual partner in the past 14 days was diagnosed with monkeypox, or attended an event or venue in the past 14 days and had a high-risk of exposure to someone with confirmed monkeypox through skin-to-skin or sexual contact.
- Priority Group 3 is those living with HIV or those on PrEP for the prevention of HIV. Vaccinations for this group are available at select healthcare providers by appointment and “only to those who meet the criteria listed above and have not had monkeypox symptoms.” Individuals should contact their healthcare provider to see if the vaccine is available.
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that between April and June 2022, 98 percent of the infections in 16 countries were in men who have sex with men. While exposure to the general public is minimal, these findings are a red flag for gay and bisexual men.
As of August 3, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified 6,326 cases of monkeypox in the United States with 485 of those in Texas.
Metro Health offers the following information for those who fear exposure:
- Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact in large crowds where people are wearing minimal clothing (such as nightclubs, festivals, raves, saunas, and bathhouses).
- Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with someone with a new, unexplained rash.
- If you were exposed to monkeypox or have symptoms such as fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes and a new, unexplained rash, contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Healthcare providers can provide testing and care for people with monkeypox.
- If you are sick with monkeypox, isolate at home until the rash has fully resolved, the scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of intact skin has formed. Monkeypox is usually a self-limiting infection that does not require hospitalization.
If you believe you were exposed to monkeypox, call Metro Health at 210-207-8876, Monday-Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.