ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Gov. Larry Hogan and the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) issued an update on the state's response to the monkeypox outbreak. This update included efforts to make testing, vaccination and public health resources widely available for high-risk populations.
“Since before our first monkeypox case was identified, the state has been mounting an aggressive response to this outbreak in coordination with local and regional partners,” said Governor Hogan. “While vaccine supply from the federal government is severely limited at this time, anyone who believes that they may need testing or treatment should contact their healthcare provider or local health department immediately. We will keep pressing the federal government to provide more vaccines to the states and do all we can to make resources available to those at risk.”
“We want to emphasize that the goal is limiting the spread of the virus and vaccinating those who may have been exposed in the prior two weeks,” said MDH Deputy Secretary for Public Health Services Dr. Jinlene Chan. “Due to the limited supply of the vaccine from the federal government, the state is working closely with local health partners to make doses available in a manner that focuses on locations that have case counts and higher-risk populations. We plan to expand access to the vaccine as more supply becomes available.”
At the time of this article, Maryland has reported 129 lab-confirmed monkeypox cases, representing 2.2% of cases nationwide.
The majority of cases have been reported in the National Capital Region.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has already recognized this threat as a global health emergency.
"We have an outbreak that has spread around the world rapidly through new modes of transmission about which we understand too little and which meets the criteria in the international health regulations,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.
Testing for monkeypox is available through labs and the MDH public health laboratory. However, these tests aren't available to purchase off store shelves.
Maryland was initially allocated 3,300 doses of the vaccine, and of this number, Baltimore received 200 doses. That number has since risen from 3,300 to 6,405 according to the MDH.
The CDC also announced that Labcorp is now testing for monkeypox. The testing laboratory company expects to be able to perform up to 10,000 tests per week.
Two vaccines are currently available to protect against monkeypox infection.
READ MORE: Labcorp now offering monkeypox testing
The Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD) has also received an additional limited number of vaccine doses. People who meet the requirement of most at-risk will be able to contact BCHD Sexual Health Clinics beginning Thursday, August 4 at 9:00 a.m.
- Eastern (1200 E. Fayette St): (410)-396-9410
- Druid (1515 W. North Ave): (410) 396-0176
Vaccine supply from the federal government remains limited, and additional supply may not be available until the fall. Based on the CDC guidelines, vaccinations are prioritized for those who are most at risk.
- Public Health Identified Close Contacts: Known close contacts who are identified by public health via case investigation, contact tracing and risk exposure assessments.
- Occupational Exposure: Healthcare workers who may been exposed to a known case and Laboratory Response Network or other laboratory staff working directly with monkeypox testing.
- Self-Identified Partners of Cases: People who've had a sexual partner that tested positive for monkeypox.
- Affected Community Members: Recent group sex or sex with multiple partners.
- Sex or employment at an event where monkeypox has been reported.