Demand for vaccine rises in DeKalb County as monkeypox declared a public health emergency

Appointments for the latest round of monkeypox vaccinations in DeKalb County filled up in about 15 minutes on Aug. 4 – the same day President Joe Biden’s administration declared monkeypox a public health emergency as cases rise across the country.

In collaboration with the Georgia Department of Public Health, the DeKalb County Board of Health received hundreds of monkeypox vaccine to offer appointments for a large vaccination event on Aug. 5. The first round of monkeypox vaccine, announced by DeKalb County Board of Health officials on July 25, were also reserved within minutes of appointments opening.

“Currently, demand for the monkeypox vaccine is far greater than supply in Georgia and across the country,” stated DeKalb County Board of Health officials. “Additional vaccination events will be forthcoming in the weeks ahead. Anyone who is unable to register should keep checking the DeKalb County Board of Health’s website and official social media platforms.”

On their website, DeKalb County Board of Health officials stated they are following the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and prioritizing monkeypox vaccine for individuals at high risk of infection including:

• People who are in close personal contact of people with monkeypox.
• Individuals who may have been exposed to monkeypox.
• Gay and bisexual men who have sex with men (MSM) who have had more than two partners in the past 14 days.
According to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, declaring monkeypox a public health emergency will “further strengthen and accelerate the Biden-Harris Administration’s response in recognition of the continued rapid transmission of monkeypox in the U.S. and globally.”
The declaration also opens possibilities for exploring new ways to get doses of the vaccine out faster and increases monkeypox outbreak data-sharing with the federal government, stated officials.
According to the CDC’s website, people with monkeypox may get a rash located on or near the genitals and could be on other areas such as hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth. Other symptoms may include fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, exhaustion, muscle aches and backache, headache and respiratory symptoms such as sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough.
State officials said individuals can take the following 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, or have close personal contact with someone with monkeypox.
The latest data from the CDC shows that there have been 596 confirmed cases of monkeypox in Georgia as of Aug. 8.
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