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Dallas Nonprofit Distributes Monkeypox Vaccines

Health

An individual receives a vaccination from medical personnel | Image by Shutterstock

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As cases of monkeypox rise in Texas and the rest of the nation, a Dallas-based nonprofit has helped to meet demand for JYNNEOS vaccines.

The HOPE Health Center in Dallas administered over 500 vaccines in recent weeks, NBC 5 reported. When the wellness center, operated by Abounding Prosperity Inc., held a vaccine clinic on August 20, over 100 residents had signed up.

Tamara Stepheny, the COO of Abounding Prosperity, said demand for the JYNNEOS vaccine has been steady over the past few weeks.

“Monkeypox can affect anyone. There are cases among CIS gender women, heterosexual men, and children, in fact, now, ” Stepheny told NBC 5.

Waylan Keim, from Austin, attended the August 20 vaccine event in Dallas. He told NBC 5 that he could not find available vaccines in his home city.

Keim said, “We’ve called the city of Austin public health; we’ve called them three times. We received a call from them, but after that, it just went quiet. We haven’t had luck with that.”

Stepheny said similar difficulties had occurred in Dallas.

“Initially, we were not able to meet the demands because of the shortage of vaccinations,” she said. “After the change in the dosage and administration, now we’re able to meet that. So, now I’m excited to be able to provide to everybody that wants the vaccine.”

The JYNNEOS vaccine was initially injected into the fat beneath the skin in two doses, spaced 28 days apart. A new plan from the White House splits the vaccine into five doses instead of two and instructs that they be injected between the layers of skin, as reported by The Dallas Express. The new method has stirred controversy about its possible effects on the vaccine’s efficacy.

Regardless of the method of administering the doses, researchers do not currently have a strong sense of how well the vaccine guards against monkeypox or how long its protection lasts.

Lab data from previous animal studies suggested that the JYNNEOS vaccine improved the severity of symptoms, but a human study in the Congo has not yet returned results.

Still, the new method of injections will help stretch the current vaccine supply, according to United States officials.

Since the outbreak of monkeypox in May, the U.S. has distributed over a million vaccine doses across the country, NBC 5 reported on August 18.

Still, due to limited supply, local health agencies, such as Dallas County Health and Human Services, have determined a list of criteria restricting eligibility for the vaccines to the people most at risk for contracting the monkeypox virus.

Anyone with a confirmed case of monkeypox is not eligible to be vaccinated.

The HOPE Health and Wellness Center has vaccine clinic hours every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, as reported by The Dallas Express. Thursday and Friday clinics are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m, and Saturday clinics are from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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