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Houston Health Department reviewing new guidance from Texas DSHS on monkeypox vaccine

People with a known or possible exposure to the monkeypox virus remain the highest priority for vaccination, but the list of others eligible continues to grow.

HOUSTON — The Texas Department of State Health Services has expanded its guidance on who should be eligible for the monkeypox vaccine in the state. 

DSHS now says people with HIV or certain skin conditions should be able to get the shot after the FDA approved a new way to administer the vaccine that will increase its supply. 

The Houston Health Department says they are still reviewing this guidance and have not expanded eligibility yet.

"We are currently working the projections on how many additional persons may qualify and if by also changing to intradermal administration we will have enough capacity to meet the new, larger demand," an HHD spokesperson said.

HHD said it has not yet started using the new intradermal injection method and is working to get its staff trained on how to do so.

"This could start next week. The change to intradermal injection will increase our potential number of clients served, but we also need to have the supplies and training in place to make the change," the spokesperson said.

People with a known or possible exposure to the monkeypox virus remain the highest priority for vaccination.

Editor's note: The video above originally aired on Aug. 9.

The latest Department of State Health Services criteria for others who are eligible now includes these people who are at least 18 years old:

  • Men who have sex with men and have had multiple or anonymous sex partners within the previous 21 days;
  • Have a sex partner who is showing symptoms of monkeypox, such as a rash or sores;
  • Have had a diagnosis of HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, or early syphilis, within the previous 12 months;
  • Are on HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis;
  • Have a condition that may increase their risk for severe disease if infected with monkeypox virus, such as HIV, atopic dermatitis or eczema.

RELATED: Houston-area health departments prepare to administer monkeypox vaccine via new method in effort to increase supply

As of Thursday, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports 10,392 cases in the U.S. The Texas Department of State Health Services says 701 of those are in Texas, but their numbers haven't been updated since Tuesday. Local health officials report 223 cases in Harris County, including 195 in the city of Houston. There are a total of 259 cases in this region, which includes surrounding counties, according to DSHS.

RELATED: Monkeypox: Track Houston area and Texas case numbers; get answers to common questions

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