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11 monkeypox cases reported in Cleveland

Northeast Ohio is in the process of receiving and distributing a small allotment of the JYNNEOS vaccine for targeted groups.

CLEVELAND — The City of Cleveland is reporting that 11 residents are currently dealing with cases of monkeypox.

The Cleveland Department of Health's Office of Epidemiology is currently in the process of conducting surveillance and contact tracing.

According to a release, Northeast Ohio is in the process of receiving and distributing a small allotment of the JYNNEOS vaccine for targeted groups via specific healthcare organizations. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has licensed the JYNNEOS vaccine to prevent monkeypox infection in people ages 18 years and older.

"When properly administered before or after a recent exposure, JYNNEOS can be an effective tool for protecting people against monkeypox illness," the city says. "Vaccination given after the onset of signs or symptoms of monkeypox is not expected to provide benefit. Like other vaccines, the JYNNEOS vaccine is administered by injection, usually in the upper arm. The CDC recommends individuals receive a two dose series at least four weeks apart."

Additionally, close contacts of those with monkeypox will be offered the vaccine for postexposure prophylaxis (PEP), free of charge. Patients must fall into one of the following categories in order to be eligible for the vaccine:

  • Individuals at high risk of occupational exposure to monkeypox (e.g., clinical lab personnel performing diagnostic testing for monkeypox).
  • Individuals identified as having exposure to monkeypox virus during case investigation and contact tracing activities.
  • Unprotected contact between a person’s skin or mucous membranes and the skin, lesions, or bodily fluids from a patient or contaminated materials (e.g., linens, clothing).
  • Individuals with attendance at events/venues linked to known monkeypox transmission.
  • Any individual who has or is likely to have prolonged intimate contact that would put them at higher risk of being exposed to monkeypox virus.

The city says that those who are vaccinated should "continue to take steps to protect themselves from infection by avoiding close, skin‐to‐skin contact, including intimate contact, with someone who has monkeypox." Additionally, it is recommended that fully vaccinated individuals protect themselves against monkeypox and isolate at home in case of symptoms.

More information on where patients can receive the vaccine is expected next week as the Cuyahoga County Board of Health continues to develop a distribution strategy.

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