Monroe County is awaiting more monkeypox vaccines from state

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Public Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza said that Monroe County hasn’t received any new monkeypox vaccines from the state since two weeks ago.

He spoke at a Friday conference to provide an update on how the county is addressing monkeypox. Mendoza said there have been at least six confirmed cases of monkeypox in Monroe County and all cases were found in people traveling from outside the county.

The Monroe County Health Department hosted its first monkeypox vaccine clinic on July 25 to distribute 600 of the first dose in a two-vaccine series.

Mendoza said he is committed to ensuring people get both their doses within the recommended time. However, he hasn’t yet received an update on when new vaccines will arrive. Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office is trying to get more vaccines from the federal government.

"We have plans in place to rapidly administer the vaccine when it becomes available and we are eagerly awaiting for that day to come," Mendoza said.

There is no evidence of community spread of monkeypox in Monroe County but the department of health is still closely tracking cases. Mendoza said that monkeypox cases could increase as students travel to the region once colleges are back in session.

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Monkeypox cases have risen across New York State and many regions have reported vaccine shortages. The U.S. declared a public health emergency to bolster the federal response to the outbreak of monkeypox.

The monkeypox virus spreads through prolonged and close skin-to-skin contact, including hugging, kissing, sharing bedding, and sharing clothing. People of any sexual orientation can become infected with monkeypox but sexually active gay men are at the highest risk.

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