Dallas, Texas – The number of new Monkeypox cases nationwide is on the rise, and so is in the state of Texas. The Monkeypox outbreak continues to expand in the North Texas area, especially in Dallas County, and the recent outbreak prompted the local health officials to expand the vaccine eligibility with the aim of slowing down the spread of the disease.
The biggest concern for health officials still remains the availability of the Monkeypox vaccine. Although more and more people are interested in getting vaccinated, low vaccine supply was the main obstacle, and the vaccine was only given to people who had been in close contact with someone who had tested positive for Monkeypox.
The recent outbreak in Dallas County made the local health officials change their strict policy and make the vaccine available for more people. Currently, more than 160 cases have been confirmed in Dallas County and the county has the largest outbreak statewide. Local health officials believe that making the vaccine more accessible will eventually slow the spread of the disease.
The information was confirmed by the Dallas Health and Human Services Director Dr. Philip Huang who said on Monday that more vaccines will be offered to more people. In recent weeks, Dallas County officials have said on multiple occasions that more Monkeypox vaccines were ordered from federal health officials. Last week, Dallas County received a total of 5,000 Monkeypox vaccines.
According to the new policy, the vaccine will be offered to any man who has sex with men who is 18 and older and sexually active over the last two weeks. Dr. Huang believes that in the upcoming period, they will be able to expand the eligibility even further. Due to the nationwide Monkeypox vaccine shortage, Dr. Huang couldn’t immediately provide more details about future steps. It all depends on the number of vaccines provided to the county.
From what is known so far, most of the Monkeypox cases are men. In Dallas County, there have been a total of 161 cases reported and only three of these cases are women.
According to data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been a total of 5,811 Monkeypox cases reported nationwide. New York is state with the highest number of cases (1390), followed by California (827) and Illinois (520). The state of Texas is 6th on the list with 397 cases. The data was last updated on August 1st.
For more information, please visit Dallas Health and Human Services Director website.