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Delaware reports more monkeypox cases, and announces expanded vaccine access

Delaware Health and Social Services
Division of Public Health

The Division of Public Health announced five more monkeypox cases in the First State, while also expanding access to the monkeypox vaccine.

There are now 11 cases statewide pending confirmatory testing by the CDC. The five most recent cases all involved men with two in Sussex County and three in New Castle County. They range in age from 23-to-57.

All of the cases are unrelated to each other, but three of them did report recent intimate contact with another person confirmed to be positive with the monkeypox.

As cases rise, the state is expanding access to the monkeypox vaccine for individuals living with HIV as well as those receiving pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV.

They should first contact their medical provider to ask if they’re offering the vaccine, and Rick Hong, DPH interim director, says the hope is that providers will request the vaccine to give out.

"We're hoping that providers of high risk populations such as those that treat patients with HIV or for those that offer HIV prep will be requesting vaccines so they can give it out to their patient population. In other ways you can contact our hotline to be referred to one of our clinics if you need eligibility for the vaccine at this time," said Hong.

The DPH Hotline is 866-408-1899. Walk-ins will not be accepted.

Vaccinations will be prioritized for persons know or presumed to be exposed to someone with the virus in the last 14 days, and certain individuals who have sex with men and who have had multiple sex partners within the past 14 days.

Hong says the hope is to use community partnerships to increase vaccine access

"We are very much relying on partnerships with the community, especially those that have been involved in the COVID vaccine rollout, but also other entities that traditionally provide vaccine to the public,” said Hong. “So, we're working closely with those partners and hopefully to increase access as we see supply increase as well too."

Starting August 22, vaccine access will expand to those engaging in high-risk activities including sexual practices that increase exposure to monkeypox.

That includes gay, bisexual, and other men who have multiple or anonymous sexual partners, transgender women or non-binary persons assigned male at birth who have sex with men, and sex workers of any sexual orientation and gender.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.