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University of Kansas Health System now vaccinates against monkeypox

KANSAS CITY, (KWCH) – As monkeypox continues to spread across the country, the University of Kansas Health System is now taking action to combat the virus.

Dr. Allen Greiner, chief medical officer for Wyandotte County Unified Government, said the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is distributing the vaccine to areas with the highest number of cases.

The FDA paved the way for single doses of monkeypox vaccine to be split into 5 to protect more people. According a website set up by Health and Social Services to follow the distribution of the JYNNEOS vaccine, Kansas received about 1,100 doses. This equates to 5,500 doses for approximately 2,750 people.

The vaccine is given in two doses – the second should be given about 28 days after the first dose. Intradermal injections are given between the layers of the skin, another way to help stretch the vaccine.

While the virus appears to be rarely fatal, doctors said the rate of transmission appears to be higher than in previous outbreaks.

“The reason to jump on it and try to get this epidemic under control is that we have so many unanswered questions,” Dr Greiner said. “We don’t know if it weakens your immunity and makes you more susceptible to COVID. We don’t know if this could have any long-term consequences. It is possible that there are long-term negative consequences for people.

There are a few criteria to be eligible for the vaccine. These include being in close contact with someone who has monkeypox, someone who has had multiple sexual partners, or someone who has traveled outside the United States in the last two or three weeks.

There are currently two confirmed cases of monkeypox in Kansas. If you think you have the infection or might be at risk of contracting the virus, you should contact your health care provider.

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