The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services today released a report of the state's monkeypox data, including how many vaccines have been administered across the state since July. This data shows that while 70% of cases are in Black men, Black North Carolinians have received less than a quarter of the vaccinations so far.
North Carolina today is reporting 122 monkeypox cases - all in males and nearly all in men who have sex with men, consistent with findings from other states and countries.
The report analyzes case and vaccine demographic data as of Aug. 8, which includes 111 cases. The data shows 70% of cases are in Black/African American men and 19% in White men; however, only 24% of vaccines have gone to Black/AA recipients, while 67% have gone to White recipients.
As of Aug. 8, 3,048 vaccine doses have been administered across the state, and more doses are expected in the coming weeks.
"It's important to remember that anyone in any group of people can get monkeypox, which spreads mostly through prolonged skin-to-skin contact,"
said NCDHHS Secretary Kody H. Kinsley. "Partnering together to prioritize vaccine for the individuals currently most impacted by the virus will provide relief for that community and help control further spread of the outbreak."
NCDHHS continues to work with trusted vaccine providers and community partners to close disparities and reach North Carolinians most at risk for getting monkeypox. The department has already hosted one virtual town hall and visited with the health department and community organizations in Mecklenburg County to discuss their response to the outbreak, address concerns and reach those who may be in need of testing and vaccination.
Vaccine has been prioritized for people who are currently most at risk of exposure to monkeypox. NCDHHS is working with the federal government and local health departments and clinics to implement changes announced this week by the Food and Drug Administration, which could allow the number of available doses to increase by as much as five-fold while continuing to ensure the vaccine meets high standards for safety and quality.
Public health officials urge North Carolinians to "Get Checked. Get Tested. Get Vaccinated."
to reduce spread of monkeypox. Testing is widely available for everyone, and, as vaccines continue arriving in the state, health officials encourage those at-risk and eligible to seek vaccination as quickly as possible. NCDHHS is working to equitably get vaccines across the state to those most at risk.
People most commonly get monkeypox through close and sustained skin-to-skin contact, including but not limited to intimate and sexual contact. The virus can also spread through contact with body fluids such as saliva or fluid from the lesions of infected individuals. Most people with monkeypox get better on their own, and monkeypox is also rarely fatal.
JYNNEOS is a safe and effective monkeypox vaccine. The vaccine requires two doses, and it takes 14 days after getting the second dose of JYNNEOS to reach maximum protection. People who have already been exposed to monkeypox but do not have symptoms can be vaccinated to prevent illness or lead to milder symptoms if given within 14 days after exposure. People interested in receiving the vaccine can visit the NCDHHS monkeypox site for information and a list of locations.
Anyone with unexplained rashes or lesions should contact their health care provider to be tested for monkeypox. Health care providers also need to be vigilant and test any patient with a suspicious lesion or sore. There is ample capacity for testing in North Carolina.
Vaccinations to protect against monkeypox are now available for:
- Anyone who had close contact in the past two weeks with someone who has been diagnosed with monkeypox, or
- Gay or bisexual men or transgender individuals who report any of the following in the last 90 days:
- Having multiple sex partners or anonymous sex
- Being diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection
- Receiving medications to prevent HIV infection (PrEP)
The report can be found on the NCDHHS monkeypox website
, and North Carolinians can visit ncdhhs.gov/monkeypox
for current monkeypox case numbers and more information about the outbreak and our response. Case numbers will be updated Monday through Friday and demographic data on cases and vaccination will be updated weekly.
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (919) 855-4840