In A Flash

Louisiana receives 970 additional monkeypox vaccine doses

By: - July 22, 2022 5:57 pm
A microscopic photograph of the monkeypox virus.

A microscopic photograph of the monkeypox virus. (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The federal government has sent Louisiana an additional 973 doses of the monkeypox vaccine, nearly doubling the state’s supply

A week ago, the Louisiana Department of Health reported it had 1,048 doses of vaccine on hand. Each person vaccinated needs to receive two doses 28 days apart. Louisiana now has the capacity to fully inoculate a little over 1,000 people.

Those currently eligible for a monkeypox vaccination in Louisiana include:

– people with a known exposure to a person with active monkeypox symptoms;
– men who have had sex more more than one man in the past 14 days;
– men who have had sex with an anonymous male partner in the past 14 days;
– men who have paid for sex or been paid for sex with men in the past 14 days; and
– men who have had “intimate” contact with other men in a social venue or sex club.

In the United States, monkeypox is mostly circulating among men who have sex with men, but health experts stress that anyone can contract the disease. Thee U.S. has diagnosed two mokeypox cases in children. No one in the U.S. has died from the virus yet, and doctors say it is seldom fatal when treated.   

The virus is not just transmitted through sex. It can also spread through skin-to-skin contact or by touching the linens and clothing of a person experiencing active symptoms. People who don’t have symptoms are not contagious.

State health officials said they are pushing the federal government to increase Louisiana’s vaccine allotment so a more widespread vaccination campaign can be launched, but demand for the vaccine has far outstriped supply across the country.

People in multiple states have also complained about not being able to access testing and treatment for the virus.

The vaccine is also arriving in Louisiana at  “irregular intervals,” said Aly Neel, spokesperson for the agency. 

Monkeypox symptoms are flu-like and involve the swelling of the lymph-nodes as well as a rash that can include painful scabs. The rash can appear on the face, hands, feet, chest or genitals. It can also be inside the mouth, vagina or anus. 

The illness lasts from two to four weeks. Until new skin has grown over the rash and scabs have fallen off, a person is still contagious, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

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Julie O'Donoghue
Julie O'Donoghue

Julie O’Donoghue is a senior reporter for the Louisiana Illuminator and producer of the Louisiana Illuminator podcast. She’s received awards from the Virginia Press Association and Louisiana-Mississippi Associated Press. Julie covered state government and politics for | The Times-Picayune for six years. She’s also covered government and politics in Missouri, Virginia and Washington D.C. Julie is a proud D.C. native and Washington Capitals hockey fan. She and her partner, Jed, live in Baton Rouge. She has two stepchildren, Quinn and Steven.