"At least 27 women are positive in the state, and we are seeing the spread within more people who weren’t sexually involved with another positive case and was spread through direct skin-to-skin contact or face-to-face spread through infected respiratory secretions," said Dr. Desmar Walkes, Austin-Travis County Health Authority. "The virus is finding a way, but the vaccine is the way out."
Nearly 5,000 vials of the Jynneos vaccine were sent to Austin Public Health. Nearly 3,000 of those vials were distributed to community partners. CommUnity Care held a walk-up vaccine clinic near Austin PRIDE events, where they administered almost 2,000 vaccines in a single weekend.
"Yet again, our community pulled together to help make sure those most at risk from monkeypox are protected. Thanks to our healthcare partners for mobilizing clinics and to the state and federal government for hearing our calls for more vaccines," said Austin Mayor Steve Adler. "We will continue to fight for the resources we need to keep this community safe."
The criteria on monkeypox vaccine eligibility has been expanded, giving the Austin community more opportunities to receive the vaccine.
The city says more than 1,600 individuals who were on a waitlist for the vaccine have been contacted this week to schedule an appointment. All those who were confirmed contacts of positive cases have also been scheduled for appointments.
APH created an online survey, available in English or Spanish, for those looking to evaluate their vaccine eligibility based on criteria set by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. APH Epidemiology, Equity Line and Nursing staff will continue to provide information and scheduled appointments to those without internet access, the city says.
- The City of Austin encourages residents to follow the following precautions as monkeypox cases continue to rise:
- Being fully clothed and avoiding skin-to-skin contact with strangers.
- Limiting close and or/intimate contact to people you know.
- Close contact includes sharing items like drinks and blankets.
- Wearing well-fitting masks in close quarters when social distancing isn’t possible to reduce direct exchange of mouth/nasal fluids.
- Washing/sanitizing your hands as well as cleaning surfaces.
- Staying home if you feel sick or experience any symptoms.
- Learning monkeypox symptoms. Along with rash, symptoms include fever, headache and muscle aches, chills, and swollen lymph nodes.
- Sharing credible information, see communications toolkit here.
- Monkeypox Festival Safety Flyers
- Monkeypox Laundry Guidance Flyers
- Back to College Monkeypox Safety Flyers
The city says that anyone who believes they are a close contact with someone who has tested positive for monkeypox or experiencing symptoms should reach out to their health care provider. Those without access to healthcare may call APH's Equity Line at 512-972-5560 for information.