Looking for monkeypox vaccine in Northeast Florida? Here’s what you need to know

US signs off on 800,000 more doses of monkeypox vaccine

As the federal government prepares to send out 800,000 doses of the monkeypox vaccine, many are still confused about how and where to get it when it comes to their town.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As the federal government prepares to send out 800,000 doses of the monkeypox vaccine, many are still confused about how and where to get it when it comes to their town.

Local doctors and health care providers are all saying people need to check with the health department. But when News4JAX did that on Thursday, health department officials said patients need to check with their doctors.

No one seems to know what’s going on.

The U.S. already has sent more than 310,000 doses of the two-shot Jynneos vaccine to state and local health departments. But clinics in San Francisco, New York and other major cities say they still don’t have enough shots to meet demand.

Major cities in Florida have also received vaccines -- and there have been lines for it. Doctors said the vaccine has not yet been readily available in Northeast Florida.

The local health department is beginning to lay out a protocol about how the vaccines will be administered when it receives them, but there are still no answers as to where, when and how it will happen.

(For what we know about the health department’s plan, scroll to the bottom of the story.)

There were more than 4,600 reported monkeypox cases in the U.S. as of late Wednesday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The head of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday officials would announce more vaccine allocations on Thursday.

Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Mohammad Reza talked on The Morning Show what people need to look for when it comes to monkeypox.

“You develop fever. You feel fatigued, bodyache, as well as headaches. One of the things we look at with monkeypox is it’s very similar to smallpox but what you don’t see in smallpox is monkeypox people have the lymph abnormalities, lymph nodes are swollen here and under the armpit and then you can develop these little pimples,” Reza said. “Almost like that dot on a lesion and it becomes a pustule and that could be quite painful and disfiguring.”

As the federal government prepares to send out 800,000 doses of the monkeypox vaccine, many are still confused about how and where to get it when it comes to their town.

The monkeypox virus mainly spreads through skin-on-skin contact, but it can also transmit through touching linens used by someone with the infection. The vast majority of cases reported have been in men who have sex with men, though health officials have stressed that anyone can catch the virus.

The sluggish federal response has drawn comparisons to the initial days of the COVID-19 outbreak, but experts have pointed out that the U.S. had one huge advantage: more than 1 million doses of vaccine in the strategic national stockpile.

But it turned out U.S. officials had only about 2,000 doses on hand when the outbreak was first identified in May. Shipping and regulatory delays have meant only a portion of the rest were deployed.

“It’s been difficult to get access to the vaccines as well as a lot of the testing and right now it’s just getting information out to people,” Reza said.

U.S. officials announced orders this month for 5 million more doses, though most of those are not expected to arrive until next year

Officials have recommended the shots be given to people who know or suspect they were exposed to monkeypox in the previous two weeks.

The Jynneos vaccine has never been widely used in response to an outbreak like this, and the government will track how well it’s working.

Below is the information provided by the Florida Department of Health -- Duval County:

Implementation plan

The implementation plan for monkeypox vaccine distribution will consist of three phases. During Phases 1 and 2, County Health Departments (CHDs) will coordinate monkeypox vaccine distribution with local health care providers.

Phase 1

During Phase 1, the following groups will be prioritized: 1

  • Laboratory personnel and select health care personnel at high risk for monkeypox
  • Close contacts of monkeypox cases
  • Immunocompromised MSM with HIV (< 200 CD4 white blood cells per ml3) with potential exposure
  • Other MSM with a recent history of a sexually transmissible disease (STD)

Phase 1 will have the following vaccination partners:

  • Florida CHDs
  • Ryan White (RW) clinics
  • STD clinics
  • Other community providers designated by CHDs who serve MSM with HIV

Phase 2

Phase 2 will occur when additional monkeypox vaccine becomes available from the strategic national stockpile for distribution through CHDs. During Phase 2, all Phase 1 groups will be prioritized in addition to the groups in bold:

  • Laboratory personnel and select health care personnel at high risk for monkeypox
  • Close contacts of monkeypox cases
  • Immunocompromised MSM with HIV (< 200 CD4 white blood cells per ml3) with potential exposure
  • Other MSM with a recent history of an STD
  • All other MSM with HIV who had potential exposure

Phase 2 will have the same vaccination partners:

  • Florida CHDs
  • RW clinics
  • STD clinics
  • Other community providers designated by CHDs who serve MSM with HIV

Phase 3

Phase 3 will occur when monkeypox vaccine is distributed through normal vaccine distribution channels. During Phase 3, all Phase 2 groups will be prioritized in addition to the groups in bold:

  • Laboratory personnel and select health care personnel at high risk for monkeypox
  • Close contacts of monkeypox cases
  • Immunocompromised MSM with HIV (< 200 CD4 white blood cells per ml3) with potential exposure
  • Other MSM with a recent history of a sexually transmissible disease
  • All other MSM with HIV who had potential exposure
  • All MSM
  • Other high-risk groups

Phase 3 will have the same vaccination partners as Phase 2 in addition to those in bold:

  • Florida CHDs
  • RW clinics
  • STD clinics
  • Other community providers who serve MSM with HIV
  • Community providers who serve MSM and other high-risk groups

Antiviral treatment

One product (tecovirimat or TPOXX) is approved by United States Food and Drug Administration and available to health care providers under a “compassionate use” protocol held by CDC.2 The Florida Department of Health will provide training to Florida health care providers likely to have monkeypox cases on the use of TPOXX and the documentation required. Monkeypox cases at risk for complications or severe outcomes from the disease will be prioritized. Treatment partners will include RW clinics and infectious disease clinics; these partners will serve clients from one or more counties.


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Jim Piggott is the reporter to count on when it comes to city government and how it will affect the community.