The Louisiana Department of Health today announced it is now able to expand eligibility for JYNNEOS, the monkeypox vaccine, thanks to increased supply.

The expanded criteria for vaccination include people in Louisiana who meet one of the following:

  • Gay/bisexual men or transgender people who are sexually active with more than one partner
  • Anyone who is at high risk of monkeypox exposure: This includes but is not limited to people who:
    • Are HIV positive or receive medicines to prevent HIV infection (PrEP)
    • Are experiencing homelessness
    • Use IV drugs
    • Give or receive money or other goods in exchange for sex
    • Have significant, skin-to-skin contact with others in a social or sexual venue
    • Work at establishments where sexual or intimate activity occurs (e.g., bathhouses, saunas, sex clubs, hotels)
  • Clinicians or laboratory staff who are at high risk of occupational exposure
  • Anyone who has been determined to be at high risk by a healthcare provider or public health official

LDH has notified providers of this updated guidance, which is effective immediately.

To find a nearby vaccine location or event, visit LDH’s monkeypox webpage (https://ldh.la.gov/monkeypox-vax) or call 211. 

“From the beginning of our response we have been eager to expand eligibility for the monkeypox vaccine. When supply was extremely limited, we restricted eligibility to those at greatest risk of exposure,” said State Health Officer Dr. Joseph Kanter. “Thankfully, because of changes to how the vaccine can be administered, and increased vaccine procurement by our federal partners, we now have  supply to expand eligibility and protect many more people in our state.”

About monkeypox

CDC is closely tracking cases of monkeypox recently detected in the United States. As part of this 2022 U.S. Monkeypox Outbreak, the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) identified its first case of monkeypox in a Louisiana resident on July 7, 2022. As of August 31, Louisiana has identified 183 cases of monkeypox in Louisiana residents since the start of the 2022 U.S. Monkeypox Outbreak.

There are likely more undiagnosed human cases of monkeypox in Louisiana than have been formally tested and identified to date. LDH will continue to keep its monkeypox webpage (https://ldh.la.gov/monkeypox) updated with the latest case count, guidance and resources for the public and providers.

While not new, monkeypox is a potentially serious viral illness caused by a virus not commonly seen in the United States, that is spread most frequently through close, physical contact. The disease can make you sick, including a possibly painful rash, which may look like bumps on your skin, blisters or ulcers. Some people have a flu-like illness before they develop a rash. 

According to CDC, early data suggest that gay, bisexual, same-gender-loving, and other men who have sex with men make up a high number of cases. However, anyone who has been in close, personal contact with someone who has monkeypox can be infected, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. 

Early detection is key. If you have an unexplained rash, sore or blister, contact your health provider to get tested. 

About the monkeypox vaccine

Getting vaccinated against monkeypox can help prevent disease or make it less severe.

JYNNEOS is the name of the FDA-approved monkeypox vaccine - the series is two doses, administered 28 days apart. Full protection begins two weeks after the second vaccine. The monkeypox vaccine is available at no cost to the individual. 

To find a nearby vaccine location or event, visit LDH’s monkeypox webpage (https://ldh.la.gov/monkeypox-vax) or call 211. 

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