Colorado prioritizes giving first doses of monkeypox vaccine to high-risk Coloradans – Sterling Journal-Advocate

Logo of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE)

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment will adopt a vaccination strategy that prioritizes giving first doses to as many high-risk individuals as possible. The strategy provides the broadest protection against the spread of monkeypox in Colorado, as the federal vaccine supply remains extremely limited. The state will open additional vaccination appointments in the clinics scheduled for the month of August.

“Given the current outbreak, our focus at this time is to reduce the spread of monkeypox among those at risk, and to that end we will use all of our available doses to vaccinate as many eligible people as possible,” said Eric. France, Chief Medical Officer of Public Health and the Environment. “We expect more doses to come from the federal government which we can then use for the administration of a second dose.”

Jynneos is usually given in a series of two doses. Data from clinical trials suggest that receiving only the first dose of the Jynneos vaccine should provide early protection against monkeypox. There is no maximum allowed interval between the first and second dose of a Jynneos vaccine series, and the second dose can be safely given after the recommended 28-day window. Full protection against vaccination requires two doses of Jynneos given 28 days apart. Due to limited federal supply, second doses may occur after the standard 28-day interval. The CDPHE will communicate with the Coloradans who received the first doses to find out when the second doses are available and how to receive them.

If the vaccine is given four days after exposure to monkeypox virus, it can help prevent people from getting sick; if given within the first two weeks after exposure, it may lessen the severity of the disease.

“Until the federal vaccine supply becomes more plentiful, we must prioritize getting this vaccine to as many at-risk people as quickly as possible, while ensuring access to underserved communities. serviced and hard to reach across Colorado. Our strategy draws on the experiences of other states and countries. We will reassess this strategy if and when the federal vaccine supply increases,” said Scott Bookman, director of the Division of Disease Control and Public Health Response.

Vaccination appointments are available for Coloradans who self-certify their eligibility via the appointment request form. Eligible Coloradans include men ages 18 and older who are gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men who have had multiple or anonymous sex partners in the past 14 days. Anyone who thinks they have been in close contact with someone with monkeypox in the past 14 days is also eligible for the vaccine. Anyone can get monkeypox through close contact with someone infected with the virus.

CDPHE continues to work with federal partners to further increase the number of vaccine doses in the state. To date, more than 1,100 doses have been administered in Colorado, including more than 1,000 vaccines administered at 10 clinics hosted by the CDPHE. Currently, the federal government allocates vaccines to jurisdictions based on the number of monkeypox cases and the estimated size of the underlying population in the jurisdiction that could benefit from vaccination at that stage of the outbreak.

Monkeypox can begin with flu-like symptoms that can include fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, and exhaustion. Typically, a rash or skin bumps develop within one to three days of the onset of the fever, often starting on the face and then spreading to other parts of the body. Monkeypox can look like syphilis, herpes, blisters, or even acne. In recent cases, additional symptoms have not always occurred before the rash or bumps, if they have occurred at all. Coloradans should contact a health care provider and avoid physical contact with other people if they think they have been exposed to monkeypox or have symptoms.

For more information, visit cdphe.colorado.gov/monkeypox.

Martin E. Berry