Governor Larry Hogan – Official Website of the Governor of Maryland
Limited supply of vaccines available from the federal government; State continues to push for more doses
ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan and the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) today released an update on the state’s operational response to the human monkeypox outbreak, including efforts to return testing, immunization and widely available public health resources for high-risk populations.
“Since before our first case of monkeypox was identified, the state has mounted an aggressive response to this outbreak in coordination with local and regional partners,” Governor Hogan said. “Although the federal government’s vaccine supply is currently very limited, anyone who thinks they need a test or treatment should contact their health care provider or local health department immediately. We will continue to lobby the federal government to provide more vaccines to states and will do all we can to make resources available to those at risk.
“We want to emphasize that the goal is to limit the spread of the virus and vaccinate those who may have been exposed in the previous two weeks,” said MDH Assistant Secretary for Public Health Services Dr Jinlene Chan. . “Due to the limited supply of vaccines from the federal government, the state is working closely with local health partners to make doses available in a way that focuses on places that have case numbers and high-risk populations. We plan to expand access to the vaccine as supplies become available. »
Insight. Human monkeypox is a rare but serious disease primarily caused by prolonged intimate physical contact. In May 2022, several clusters of human monkeypox cases were reported in countries that do not normally report human monkeypox, including the United States. Maryland’s first case of monkeypox was announced on June 16, 2022. Although anyone can get and spread monkeypox, the vast majority of cases have been reported in men who have sex with men.
Number of cases. To date, the state of Maryland is reporting 129 laboratory-confirmed cases of monkeypox, representing 2.2% of cases nationwide. Currently, the majority of cases have been reported in the National Capital Region. The number of cases is updated daily by the CDC.
Testing capacity. Testing for monkeypox is available at commercial labs and the MDH State Public Health Laboratory. It is not available for purchase on store shelves. People who think they have been exposed to monkeypox or who have an illness that could be monkeypox should contact their doctor.. People without a provider or insurance should visit health.maryland.gov/CSTIP/local to find contact information for their local health department. Healthcare providers should educate patients about home isolation while awaiting results.
Vaccination plan. To date, the federal government has allocated enough doses to MDH to vaccinate 3,202 patients with the two-dose Jynneos vaccine. Federal government vaccine supply remains limited and additional supply may not be available until fall. Based on CDC guidelines, state and local health officials are prioritizing immunization classes to:
- Close contacts identified by public health: Known close contacts who are identified by public health through case investigation, contact tracing and risk exposure assessments.
- Occupational exposure: Healthcare workers who may have been exposed to a known case and Laboratory Response Network (LRN) or other laboratory personnel working directly with monkeypox testing.
In addition, state and local health officials will follow CDC guidelines to make vaccines available to the following categories of individuals based on supply:
- Self-identified case partners: People who know that one of their sexual partners in the past two weeks has been diagnosed with monkeypox.
- Affected community members: People from high-risk populations who report any of the following in the past two weeks:
- Recent sex in a group or with multiple partners.
- Sexual intercourse or employment in or in association with an event, location or defined geographic area where transmission of monkeypox has been reported.
Given the limited federal vaccine supply, MDH is focused on ensuring sustainable and equitable access to vaccines in all jurisdictions based on data-driven factors. Most doses have been made available to jurisdictions reporting the highest incidence of known cases and exposures. People who think they are eligible for vaccination should contact their local health department.
Contact tracking. Extensive contact tracing is being conducted by MDH and local health departments for all suspected cases. Individuals identified as being in close contact with case-patients were offered vaccination through their local health department, in accordance with CDC guidelines.
Public awareness and sensitization. State health officials continue to conduct direct outreach to clinicians and regularly brief local health workers. A listening session for interested residents was also held. MDH has also made available a Fact Sheet and Frequently Asked Questions containing information on human monkeypox. Earlier this week, the CDC released updated guidance on isolation and prevention practices.