DPH reports decrease in new monkeypox cases

Health officials hope that this signals the beginning of the end of the outbreak.

The rate of new monkeypox cases in the state has been on a consistent decline over the last few weeks, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. State health officials are “cautiously optimistic” that with the drop in new cases, the outbreak can be contained within a year with continued outreach aimed at heavily impacted populations.

Throughout the outbreak, the state health department has worked with local health departments and community-based organizations to reach and vaccinate communities most impacted by monkeypox. The disease has mainly affected men who have sex with men, with 78% of cases being among Black men.

According to DPH, 1592 monkeypox cases have been documented in Georgia since May, with about 86% being in the metro Atlanta area. Additionally, nearly 60% of Georgia’s monkeypox patients are living with HIV and almost 50% have had an sexually transmitted infection within the last year, according to DPH. Efforts to prioritize these populations for vaccines are continuing.

As of September 7, 22,320 first doses and 4,523 second doses of the Jynneos vaccine has been administered. On August 9, the Food and Drug Administration authorized an emergency use procedure which allowed for smaller doses of vaccines, which increased the number of vaccines available.

Since then, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have stated that the “results from a clinical study showed that the lower intradermal dose was immunologically non-inferior to the standard subcutaneous dose”.

Leading up to and during Atlanta Black Pride, federal, state and local health organizations teamed up for vaccination efforts after an additional supply of 5,550 vaccines was given to Georgia. According to DPH, from August 27 to September 5, 4212 people were vaccinated against monkeypox through these events.

The state health department is continuing to work with local health departments and community based organization to give first and second doses to individuals.

To make an appointment for monkeypox vaccination anywhere in the state, visit here.

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