In response to the global monkeypox (MPV) outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced last week that it would be allocating a limited amount of MPV vaccine (JYNNEOS™) to states and jurisdictions.
Allocations are based upon the regional population as well as the number of cases of MPV that had occurred in each jurisdiction at the time of the announcement. North Dakota, which has not yet identified a case of MPV, has been allocated 65 doses of JYNNEOS™ in the first round of allocations. Vaccine is being allocated from the Strategic National Stockpile in phases. Future phases are planned in the coming weeks and months and will slowly increase through the fall.
“The risk to the public is low at this time. Transmission requires close contact, such as skin-to-skin contact, with someone who has monkeypox,” said Kirby Kruger, NDDoH Disease Control Section Chief. “For people who have had close contact with someone who has monkeypox, the vaccine, if given early, can reduce the chance of developing an infection.”
MPV can spread when a person comes into contact with the virus by having direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids. Respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact such as kissing, cuddling, or sex can spread the virus. It can also be contracted by touching contaminated items, like clothing and bedding.
While anyone can get MPV, cases have occurred disproportionately in men who have sex with men. Anyone who is sexually active with multiple partners, or who are partners with someone who has sex with multiple partners can be at risk for being exposed to monkeypox. Other risk factors may include travel to areas where monkeypox is spreading, close, non-sexual contact with a known case, or contact with sick animals. MPV can cause flu-like symptoms and/or a distinct rash that can be bumpy or fluid-filled.
“Anyone who has symptoms of monkeypox or who has recently (past few weeks) been in close contact with someone diagnosed with monkeypox should contact their health care provider to see if they should be tested or vaccinated,” said Kruger.
The NDDoH Division of Immunization is reserving some of the allocated doses for individuals who are close contacts to confirmed MPV cases. Additionally, the NDDoH is working with healthcare providers who serve individuals at-risk of exposure to MPV to distribute doses, around the state. Providers who receive doses will be listed on the NDDoH monkeypox website once doses have been delivered.
JYNNEOS™ vaccine is a two-dose vaccine given subcutaneously, 28 days apart. JYNNEOS™ vaccine can be administered at the same time as other vaccines, with the exception of COVID-19. JYNNEOS™ vaccine was licensed by the FDA in September of 2019 and is indicated for prevention of smallpox and MPV in adults ages 18 years and older.
For more information on MPV, please visit https://health.nd.gov/MPV.