As cases of monkeypox continue to increase in the United States, residents are seeking out more information on how to receive vaccinations against the virus.
The virus has thus far primarily targeted men who have sex with men, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but there have been instances of the virus being transmitted to women and to children.
Even as more cases are reported, there are still limited numbers of treatments and doses that are currently available, and as a result, it is not recommended at this time that the general population seek vaccinations.
Here’s what we know right now.
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Who is Recommended to Receive the Vaccine?
The CDC is not recommending widespread vaccination against the virus, but there are specific groups of individuals that are recommended to seek out the treatment. Those groups include:
-Close personal contacts of individuals who have contracted monkeypox
-Individuals who may have been exposed to the virus
-Individuals who may have increased risk of being exposed to the virus, including those who perform laboratory testing to diagnose the virus
How Can I Get Access to the Vaccine?
According to public health officials, the vaccine is only available in limited supplies to states and cities that are experiencing a high-case burden.
Residents in those areas are encouraged to speak to their local health departments about vaccine eligibility.
How Many Doses of the Vaccine Have Been Delivered So Far?
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, nearly 19,000 doses of the vaccine have been shipped to Chicago so far. Other areas of Illinois have received nearly 7,500 doses of the vaccine as of Tuesday, according to officials.
In all, more than 310,000 doses of the vaccine have been delivered to local health departments.
Are There Other Treatments Available if I Contract the Virus?
If an individual contracts the virus, recovery is often possible without specific treatments being required.
There is an FDA-approved antiviral that can be described for patients who are more at-risk of serious illness. That treatment is known as TPOXX, and according to the Illinois Department of Public Health, the medication can be ordered from the Strategic National Stockpile, but must be sent to local health departments.
According to officials in Kane County, areas with confirmed cases of the virus are automatically being sent doses of TPOXX. More information can be found through your local health department.