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California Health Leaders Request Increased Supply of Monkeypox Vaccine from the Federal Government

Date: July 20, 2022
Number: NR22-111

CDPH continues to work with locals and impacted communities to distribute a limited number of vaccines, conduct testing and contact tracing, host workshops with impacted communities

SACRAMENTO – To further bolster the state’s monkeypox response, state health leaders have outlined for federal partners the supply needed in California to mitigate the spread of the virus. In a letter to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), California estimates it needs at least 600,000 to 800,000 additional JYNNEOS vaccine doses.

“Unlike the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic when we did not have a vaccine to mitigate the spread, in the case of monkeypox we do have an approved vaccine that should be effective,” said Dr. Mark Ghaly, California Health and Human Services Secretary. “It is critical for us to work together and across government – federal, state, and local – to mitigate the spread and protect those disproportionally impacted by the virus.”

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) continues to raise awareness about monkeypox and ways to limit its spread. The state has also distributed limited vaccine supply to local public health departments and mobile vaccine clinics for individuals who are known to be exposed and most at-risk of contracting the virus in areas where monkeypox is spreading.

  • Since May, CDPH has activated its medical health coordination center (MHCC) to coordinate a whole-of-government response and has worked with health care providers to increase awareness of monkeypox symptoms and diagnosis, as well as treatment and infection control measures.

  • On the testing front, CDPH is using its Viral and Rickettsial Disease Laboratory in Richmond as a reference lab to expand knowledge and share best practices with other labs bringing monkeypox testing services online.

  • Additionally, CDPH is supporting local public health departments to ensure impacted Californians get appropriate care, contact tracing, testing, and prevention information. The state continues to work with local health jurisdictions to ensure that treatment, and vaccine doses, while scarce, are prepositioned and available to individuals who have been exposed or identified to be at high risk of contracting the virus. This includes known close contacts of monkeypox cases, laboratory workers conducting monkeypox testing, and immunocompromised individuals with risk factors for exposure.

  • CDPH is continuing to support local and regional efforts to supply and staff vaccination efforts in the areas with the most disease burden. The state’s public health laboratory leaders have been working with local public health, academic, and commercial laboratories to ensure testing capacity is increasingly available and coordinated with the public health response.

  • CDPH is currently running paid ad campaigns on various digital media platforms to promote awareness and engage communities at higher risk of contracting monkeypox.

As of July 19, there had been 356 probable and confirmed cases of monkeypox reported in the state. There is still a low risk to the general public, but anyone can get the virus because it spreads through close physical contact, including hugging, cuddling and kissing, as well as sharing bedding, towels and clothing.

People with monkeypox may first develop flu-like illness with fever, headache, muscle aches, exhaustion, and enlarged lymph nodes. A characteristic rash, which can appear like blisters or pimples throughout the body, may occur a few days later. These blisters or pimples may be very painful, and in rare instances require hospitalization for pain management. People with monkeypox may experience all or only a few of these symptoms. The illness may last for up to 2 to 4 weeks and usually resolves without specific treatment.

Additional Resources

CDPH maintains a monkeypox homepage, including a fact sheet, and communications toolkit for the public, community organizations, health care providers, and the media.

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