New Jersey expands availability of monkeypox vaccine to at-risk populations

In New Jersey, monkeypox vaccine eligibility for people considered at high risk of the disease, despite nationally limited supplies of the vaccine and local governments awaiting shipments that rapidly outstrip demand. are open to the public.

The JYNNEOS vaccine was already available to New Jersey residents with known exposure to monkeypox, which can be spread through skin-to-skin contact and cause symptoms such as lesions, swollen lymph nodes, and rashes.

Three sites currently offer vaccines to populations considered at risk by appointment.

  • Hyacinth AIDS Foundation/Project Living Out Loud!, Jersey City — 201-706-3480
  • The Prevention Resource Network, Asbury Park — 732-502-5100
  • North Jersey Community Research Initiative, Newark — 973-483-3444, ext. 200

Currently eligible risk populations include those who have attended an event with known monkeypox exposure. Also included are members of the following groups who have had multiple or anonymous sex with his partner within the past two weeks: gay or bisexual individuals, men who have sex with men, transgender individuals, gender non-conforming individuals , and non-binary individuals.

The vaccine is also available for people with immune system disorders, dermatitis, eczema, and other conditions that may increase the risk of serious illness if infected with monkeypox.

New Jersey announced expanded availability on Tuesday afternoon, saying 2,700 doses were available.By that point, New Jersey had 45 suspected or confirmed cases of the virus. did.

“New Jersey is receiving a very limited number of doses at this time, and the (health) department is urging the CDC to provide the additional doses needed to meet the needs of the at-risk population in a timely manner. We continue to apply pressure,” New Jersey Commissioner of Health Judith Persicily said in a statement. “At the same time, residents should be aware of the signs and symptoms of orthopoxvirus (monkeypox virus) and take precautions to prevent its spread.”

Two doses of the vaccine are available to residents with known exposure through their local health department. Health departments are also responsible for conducting contact tracing and providing vaccines to known close contacts.

The governor’s office said New Jersey expects additional doses from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — and will expand availability as it does.

Murphy’s office notes that while many cases have been confirmed among men who have sex with men, monkeypox has been documented through direct person-to-person contact and through clothing, bedding, or surfaces that have been exposed to the virus. We emphasized that it can be spread by touching.

Some health researchers, public health officials, and members of the LGBTQ community have criticized what they see as a lack of local and federal responses to the monkeypox epidemic.

The Montclair Township Health Department this week began providing the vaccine to residents of that community and neighboring Cedar Grove and Verona in Essex County on a “very limited basis.”

“Unfortunately, we are waiting for a stronger state and federal response, but this is what we are working on right now and we are not generally providing vaccines to at-risk populations. The township’s governing body and founder of Out Montclair Community Organization told local media in an email.

He continued, “As a gay man, I see how disproportionately this disease is affecting my community, and I know that the government response has been inadequate and that state and federal officials need to step up it.” I am worried about something.

And he said the federal infrastructure and spending would not be up to the challenge of tackling the disease.

That sentiment echoed in a conversation with NJ Spotlight News with Rutgers Public Health Dean Perry N. Halkitis, who is gay.

“We haven’t done enough,” says Halkitis. “Exposure rates are rising and it is only a matter of time before this reaches the general public.”

Halkitis has posted a Q&A about the virus online, but told Spotlight that there isn’t enough effective communication about monkeypox.

“I feel like all the gay men I’ve talked to – friends, acquaintances, co-workers – don’t have the information about where to go to get the monkeypox vaccine in New Jersey.

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