King County Monkeypox Vaccine Distribution Update – PUBLIC HEALTH INSIDER


On August 5, King County received our final vaccine allocation. Here is a brief explainer to answer questions about what is intended for these doses.

How many vaccine doses has King County received and distributed?

We received a total of 9,160 doses of monkeypox vaccine from the Washington State Department of Health (including 4,440 that arrived on Friday 5/8).

The 4,720 we received before 8/5 are already fully distributed.

For the 4,440 doses we received on Friday, we are transferring the vaccine to the community, but it will take some time to transfer all the vaccine. We coordinate with suppliers to assess the quantity of vaccines they need.

Where will this next dose allocation go?

With such a scarce supply, we are distributing vaccines using multiple strategies to reach those most at risk of recent exposure, including those facing increased barriers to accessing immunization.

Anyone who has been in close contact with someone with monkeypox is at risk. To date, all of those diagnosed with monkeypox in King County have been among men* who have reported having had close intimate contact with other men, sometimes with unnamed partners. *This includes people who may identify as non-binary, gender queer, or transgender.

About a third of the doses will go to providers who are already serving high-risk people based on the epidemiology of current cases. Another third of the doses will go to the Harborview Sexual Health Clinic. Additionally, we facilitate additional community access points to reach those residing in other areas of the county as well as individuals who may have less access, particularly on weekends when our sexual health clinic is closed. . We work with healthcare partners, community organizations and businesses that serve those most at risk in the community to establish these access points.

We are reserving 100 doses for post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to treat people who have been exposed to high risk. We also reserve certain doses for unforeseen needs, for example if there is an environment that may have been widely exposed, such as a shelter.

When are you hosting the next vaccine events?

Now that we have doses on hand, we are planning more vaccine access points, such as healthcare partners able to accept walk-in visits, vaccinate in the evenings and on weekends, and organize vaccination events in environments of trust.

Our goal will be to achieve:

  • People at high risk who may experience barriers to obtaining care from other providers, especially men who have sex with men with multiple partners.
  • Communities disproportionately affected by the current outbreak.
  • Areas of the county where current cases are concentrated, while ensuring availability throughout King County. To date, the majority of identified cases have resided in central Seattle.
  • People with less access to health care: Public health will prioritize access to vaccines for people with less access to care, including those who are uninsured, undocumented or homeless.

These events will unfold over the next few weeks. Our partners will lead the promotion of these events using targeted outreach to reach those most at risk.

Is King County advocating for more vaccines given the number of monkeypox cases we have?

Local health departments are unable to request doses. Instead, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) uses a formula based on case rates and estimated high-risk populations to determine allocations to local health departments.

The DOH uses the same formula that the CDC uses to determine the amount of vaccine allocated to each state.

When are other vaccines on the way?

We heard to expect next allocation the week of August 15thewith approximately 4,000 to 5,000 doses which would then be delivered to King County.

Looks like Washington State’s allocation is about 24,000 doses, but requested 12,850 doses. What is the gap?

The Washington State Department of Health directs CDC dose allocation to local jurisdictions like us here at Public Health – Seattle and King County.

On the federal website, the data shows “allocated doses” to states, but that does not mean that all vaccines are actually available to order at this time. States can only order a portion of the doses before the next order date.

At the local level, we will receive more doses once the CDC opens the order and distributes the doses.

More information

We will continue to provide vaccine allocation updates on our Public Health Insider blog. You can see our previous updates with additional vaccine distribution details on our previous blog post.

You can check our Monkeypox Vaccination web page for vaccine eligibility criteria. And check our monkeypox web page for the latest case counts and information on symptoms and seeking care.

Originally published 08/09/2022


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