BALTIMORE -- The Biden administration declared Monkeypox a national Public Health Emergency Thursday.
"We're prepared to take our response to the next level in addressing this virus," Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said Thursday. "And, we urge Americans to take Monkeypox seriously and to take responsibility to help us tackle this virus."
The Maryland Department of Health has received 6,405 Monkeypox vaccine doses from the federal government so far. Of that, the Baltimore City Health Department received 700 doses.
"I get there is significant demand. Until we have more supply -- very similar to COVID -- we also should be focused on prevention," Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa said.
Monkeypox is spread through close, intimate contact. Its symptoms almost always include a rash or lesions. They can include a fever and body aches.
Baltimore City opened vaccine eligibility Thursday to a limited groups of at-risk people in the below categories who have had two or more casual or anonymous sexual partners in the past two weeks:
- Men who have sex with men
- Transgender women
- Nonbinary individuals assigned male sex at birth
- Individuals who engage in transactional sex of any gender
"The trajectory of spread is going to be influenced by people who are vaccinated, people who have immunity from natural infection and people's actions," said Dr. Amesh Adalja of Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. "We know this vaccine is safe, is effective. We just don't have enough of it."
People who meet the City Health Department's vaccine eligibility can contact the city's Sexual Health Clinics.
- Eastern (1200 E Fayette St): (410) 396-9410
- Druid (1515 W North Ave): (410) 396-0176
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