116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
The state of Iowa has enough monkeypox vaccine to vaccinate 300 people and is prioritizing giving the shots to people who have been exposed to the virus.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration allocated an additional 800,000 doses of the vaccine to the states and other jurisdictions on Wednesday. It has not announced how many doses each state will receive.
Iowa doesn’t know how many doses it will receive from the latest batch, said Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson Alex Carfrae.
“To date, Iowa has accepted every dose allocated to us by the feds,” Carfrae said.
Like the COVID-19 vaccine, the monkeypox vaccine is delivered in a two-dose series, and Carfrae said the state has 600 doses on hand — enough for 300 vaccinations.
Given the short supply of the vaccine, Iowa is prioritizing giving it to people who have been exposed to the virus, Carfrae said. As the supply increases, the state may make the vaccine available to those who haven’t been exposed, he said.
Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by a virus that is in the same family as the smallpox virus, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches and a rash. The disease is rarely fatal.
The current outbreak of the virus has been declared a public health emergency of international concern. The CDC reported 4,907 cases, including 10 in Iowa, had been confirmed in the U.S. as of Thursday.
The infection spreads through direct contact, including with infected areas and bodily fluids, as well as prolonged face-to-face contact and activities such as kissing and sexual contact, according to the CDC.
While monkeypox isn’t spread solely through sexual contact, the majority of cases have been among men who have sex with men, according to early studies.
The New York City Department of Health currently is limiting its vaccines to gay or bisexual men and to transgender or gender-nonconforming adults who have had multiple or anonymous sex partners in the past 14 days.