University of Kansas Health System now vaccinating for monkeypox

Published: Aug. 12, 2022 at 7:00 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, (KWCH) - As monkeypox continues to spread across the country, the University of Kansas Health System is now taking steps to fight the virus.

Dr. Allen Greiner, the Unified Government Medical Officer for Wyandotte County, said the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is distributing the vaccine to areas with the highest case count.

The FDA has cleared the way for single monkeypox vaccine doses to be split into 5 to protect more people. According to a website set up by the Health and Human Services to track the distribution JYNNEOS vaccine, Kansas has received about 1,100 doses. That equates to 5,500 doses for about 2,750 people.

The vaccine is given in two doses -- the second should be administered about 28 days after the first dose. The intradermal injections are delivered in between layers of the skin, another way to help stretch the vaccine.

While the virus appears to be rarely fatal, doctors said the transmission rate appears higher than with previous outbreaks.

“The reason to jump on this and try to get this outbreak under control is we have so many unanswered questions,” said Dr. Greiner. “We don’t know if it knocks your immunity down and makes you more susceptible to COVID. We don’t know if it could have long-term consequences. It’s possible there could be some long-term negative consequence for folks.”

There are a few criteria to be eligible for the vaccine. They include being a close contact to someone with monkeypox, someone who has had multiple sexual partners, or someone who has traveled out of the U.S. in the last two or three weeks.

There are currently two confirmed cases of monkeypox in Kansas. If you think you have the infection or might be at risk for the virus, you should contact your healthcare provider.

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