SAN DIEGO – A limited supply of the monkeypox vaccine is being made available this week to a select population of San Diegans who could be at a higher risk of getting sick from the virus.
Roughly 600 doses of the JYNNEOS vaccine will be available by appointment to residents at a high risk of exposure, including gay, bisexual and transgender people as well as those who participate in “circuit/rave parties and Pride festivities,” health officials said.
In a statement, Dr. Cameron Kaiser, the county’s deputy public health officer, said the county wants residents “to be mindful of how monkeypox spreads.”
“While it’s not inherently a sexually transmitted disease, close or body contact with somebody with monkeypox can pass the virus on to you,” Kaiser said. “Ask potential partners about any rashes, and if you’re sick yourself, please stay home and consider seeking medical attention.”
To date, the county has tallied three confirmed cases and three probable cases of monkeypox.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking a recent outbreak of monkeypox in countries that typically don’t report seeing it, including the United States, its website shows. Most people in the current outbreak “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,” the agency’s website reads.
Officials with the CDC recommend vaccination for those who have been diagnosed with or exposed to monkeypox. Symptoms include headaches, fever, muscle aches, backaches, swollen lymph nodes and exhaustion with a rash typically developing within three days of a fever.
“We appreciate people’s willingness to get vaccinated and we hope to expand soon, but given the low supply of vaccine right now, we need to prioritize distribution of the doses we have,” Kaiser said. “If you suspect you may have been exposed to monkeypox, stay home, avoid contact with others and call your medical provider. We can work with them to help protect you too.”
For more information, San Diegans can call 211.
FOX 5’s Jacqueline Sarkissian contributed to this report.