HOUSTON – The Texas Department of State Health Services announced Monday that it has received a shipment of 14,780 doses of the JYNNEOS monkeypox vaccine.
DSHS said it has sent 5,120 doses to Dallas County Health and Human Services after the county reportedly has the largest number of confirmed monkeypox cases in Texas.
The remainder of the state doses will be provided to local health departments and DSHS regional offices to vaccinate people with a documented or presumed exposure to the monkeypox virus, according to a release.
Houston and Harris County have received a separate shipment of approximately 5,000 doses from the SNS. On Friday, Houston Health said the city received about 5,024 doses of the JYNNEOS vaccine.
Health departments can request vaccine through the DSHS Vaccine Allocation and Ordering System.
The JYNNEOS vaccine remains in limited supply, and additional vaccine is not expected to be available until late August or early September, so public health will continue to prioritize people at the highest risk for monkeypox, according to the release.
Much like the COVID-19 vaccine, there will be a recommended two doses, four weeks apart, for those who are interested in receiving it.
Monkeypox is still being classified as a rare condition, despite the recent uptick in outbreaks. Health care professionals say it doesn’t spread easily between people without close, personal, skin-to-skin contact. Symptoms include a rash or sores that look like pimples or blisters, fever, headache, weakness, chills and swollen lymph nodes.
In Texas, most monkeypox cases have been transmitted through direct skin-to-skin contact with the monkeypox rash of an infected person. The illness is largely circulating among men who have sex with men, though there have been cases outside this population.
DSHS is posting monkeypox case counts on the department’s news updates page twice weekly. They include information on cases by geographic region and age group. More information on monkeypox and the national outbreak is available at dshs.texas.gov/IDCU/disease/monkeypox/monkeypox and cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/response/2022/index.html.