Georgia has received nearly 6,000 doses of the vaccine — enough for 3,000 people to receive the two-dose series. Allocations for monkeypox vaccine from the federal government will increase as vaccine production increases.
Local health departments in Fulton and Gwinnett counties hold vaccination clinics on the weekends. Appointments for vaccinations fill up in a matter of hours. There are two other vaccine events scheduled in Fulton and Gwinnett counties, but those two slots are already full, according to health departments.
Department of Public Health spokeswoman Nancy Needham said local health departments plan to start offering monkeypox vaccines on a regular basis which could start as early as next week. Local health departments will also be able to test for monkeypox.
For now, Needham said, the vaccine will begin to be made available only in metro Atlanta health departments where cases are concentrated. There is no residency requirement. The Department of Public Health (DPH) is still working on the logistics of vaccine distribution including when and what days of the week the vaccines will be available at local health departments.
The monkeypox vaccine can help prevent the disease, as well as reduce the severity of the disease for those already infected.
Georgia’s first-ever case was announced in early June. While many of the cases here are related to either international travel or travel to a recent conference in Chicago, the recent cases were not related to travel, according to the DPH.
The virus is endemic to parts of Africa, and does not usually spread easily between people. While most cases so far have been among men who have sex with men, health officials stress that anyone can contract the virus through close personal contact and through towels and bedding.
US health officials recently expanded the group of people who are advised to be vaccinated to include those who may be aware on their own that they could be infected. This can include men who have sex with men who have recently had multiple sexual partners in a location where monkeypox has been known to occur or in an area where monkeypox is common.
Monkeypox causes flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, and a rash that can take weeks to clear up.
US health officials said Friday that two children in the United States have been diagnosed with monkeypox. One is a toddler in California and the other is an infant who is not a resident of the United States but was tested while in Washington, D.C., according to the CDC.
The children were described as being in good health and receiving treatment. How he contracted the disease is being investigated, but officials believe it was through house transmission.
– The Associated Press contributed to this article.
Monkeypox by numbers in Georgia
211 – Confirmed cases of monkeypox in Georgia, up from 93 cases last week.
6000 About the number of monkeypox vaccine doses Georgia has received, is enough for 3,000 people to receive the two-dose series. Allocations for monkeypox vaccine from the federal government will increase as vaccine production increases.
5 — Five metro counties — Fulton, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Cobb, and Clayton — the state agency said is prioritizing vaccine distribution. There is no residency requirement.
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