On Friday, August 12, 2022, the Indian Health Service (IHS) provided updates on the limited initial allocation of Monkeypox countermeasures. These countermeasures include TPOXX oral medication for outpatient treatment of monkeypox infections and the use of the Jynneos vaccine for post-exposure prophylaxis. More details on the use and availability of the countermeasures can be found on the IHS website or on the CDC webpage on Information for Healthcare Professionals.
IHS, Tribal, and urban Indian organization (UIO) health care facilities should work with the IHS National Supply Service Center (IHS NSSC) to request distribution of any of the countermeasures to their facility. IHS NSSC began shipping the Jynneos vaccine on Monday, August 15.
The IHS National Pharmacy and Therapeutic Committee also provided an Emerging Treatments Update regarding recent changes to the administration of the Jynneos vaccine. The updated Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) allows for an intradermal administration of a smaller dose of the vaccine for those 18 years and older. The updated EUA also expands the standard dosing and administration to people under 18. For more details on this, see IHS’ Emerging Treatments Update.
On August 4, 2022 Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Becerra declared the ongoing spread of monkeypox within the United States as a Public Health Emergency (PHE). America currently has the most confirmed cases in the world, and California currently has the most cases in the United States. The first case was confirmed in May 2022. Navajo Nation confirmed their first case on August 24.
Monkeypox is spread through close contact with either an infected person or animal, or with material contaminated with the virus. This can mean close contact with the lesions, bodily fluids or respiratory droplets from someone with the virus, or by using the same bedding as someone who has monkeypox. The virus can be spread from the onset of symptoms up until the rash has fully healed and a new layer of skin has formed. The illness can be present for anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks. It is not yet known if a person is able to spread the virus prior to showing symptoms.