Thứ Sáu, Tháng Sáu 2, 2023
HomeNewsOfficials are innovating on mpox vaccine push

Officials are innovating on mpox vaccine push

Late last summer, the mpox outbreak in California peaked, with the state reporting an average of nearly 100 new cases every day in August.

Against the backdrop of an aggressive vaccination campaign, new infections fell sharply and rapidly.

By September, California was reporting an average of about 50 new cases per day, with that rate falling below 10 by the end of the next month.

As case rates fall, so do vaccination rates. Health officials across the state are now renewing efforts to immunize vulnerable people, including members of the LGBTQ+ community, ahead of June Pride Month and summer events.

Mpox is rarely fatal but can cause painful rashes and lesions, as well as flu-like symptoms. It is usually spread by skin-to-skin contact, which may include sexual contact.

As of Friday, nearly 250 people in California have been hospitalized with mpox. There are about 30,400 cases nationwide reportedalong with 42 deaths.

“As we move into the summer months and as we prepare to enter these celebrations, there can be a lot of change,” said Andrea Kim, program director for the vaccine preventable disease program. Ongoing conditions are likely to favor the transmission of mpox. Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

Kim says the outbreak began around the time of last year’s Pride celebrations. As that portion of the calendar returns, health officials are emphasizing the need to vaccinate more people.

While anyone can contract the virus, many of the cases confirmed during last year’s outbreak were among men who have sex with men.

“If we’ve learned anything from COVID, it’s that if we all got it right from the start, these things will be hard,” said Craig Bowers, director of marketing and public relations at APLA Health. reappear a lot more.” , a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that provides healthcare to the LGBTQ+ community.

Mpox cases have continued to decline since last summer. Most recently, LA County reported two new infections per week.

The World Health Organization on Thursday said that mpox is no longer considered a public health crisis.

But the disease can still be spread. A recent cluster of small cases broke out in Chicago. The city has reported 20 cases in the past four weeks after reporting no cases for the previous four weeks.

As the infection curve flattens, so does the need for vaccinations, health officials say. According to the California Department of Public Health, statewide as of Friday, nearly 300,000 people had received at least one dose of the drug according to the recommended two-shot regimen. Those who have had two injections are considered to have had the full dose and no further injections are needed.

“Right now, over the last few months, we’ve really only been vaccinating about 100 to 150 people a week,” Kim said. “At our peak, we had about 8,000 first doses in a week.”

Bowers of APLA Health, which has vaccinated about 4,000 people, said the low case rate and perceived lack of risk could be one of the reasons for the sharp drop in vaccination rates.

“Those are the people we want to reach this time around — people who never understood it in the first place. They are the most vulnerable,” Bowers said.

Bowers said APLA will have about 60 events between now and fall to get more people vaccinated. Kim said the LA County health department will increase messaging and presence at events.

The Los Angeles LGBT Center said it will also host pop-up vaccine clinics.

“We are also trying to spread the message that vaccines are first and foremost safe and effective,” Kim said. “There’s more and more data showing that the vaccine’s effectiveness is really high.”

Public health officials in San Francisco and LA County are also renewing their mpox vaccination promotion.

“We want to make sure everyone can enjoy a happy and healthy Pride,” San Francisco health officer Dr. Susan Philip said in a statement. recent statement. “If you’ve had your first dose of mpox, even if it’s in the fall, it’s not too late — now is a great time to get your second dose.”

Source link


Most Popular