Sep 19, 2022 - Health

Eligibility for monkeypox vaccines depends on where you live

Data: CDC, U.S. Census; Chart: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

While the supply and distribution of monkeypox vaccine has ramped up since June, there's "substantial variation" in states' criteria for who is eligible, a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis shows.

Why it matters: Eligibility requirements might be limiting who is getting shots, including health care workers who could get exposed on the job or people with HIV.

Details: The vast majority of states vaccines for people who are known close contacts of a confirmed case or have a presumed exposure to someone who has tested positive for the virus, the analysis found.

  • 18 jurisdictions offer the vaccine to laboratory workers performing monkeypox testing or clinicians collecting specimens.
  • In many states, it's still unclear exactly who is eligible for the preferred Jynneos vaccine. Discrepancies or incomplete criteria were found on front-facing websites and other materials, emphasizing the importance of messaging as on-the-ground health staff work to get vaccines out to communities that need them most.

By the numbers: The analysis covered all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five cities: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia.

  • 24 jurisdictions go beyond the CDC-defined categories to provide broader eligibility for vaccination.
  • Seven offer vaccination to anyone considered to be at increased or general risk, without defining that further.
  • Nineteen offer vaccinations to anyone at increased sexual risk specifically, meaning not limited to men who have sex with men, transgender or gender non-conforming individuals.

The bottom line: More than 540,000 doses have been administered, but with millions of people still at-risk and Jynneos being a two-dose vaccine, there is a lot of work still to be done.

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