The Maryland Department of Health has launched a human monkeypox vaccination preregistration system so residents can be notified when they can access a shot.
The vaccine has been in short supply and restricted to close contacts of a person with monkeypox or those exposed, including health care providers, and it’s not clear when more doses will arise in the state or how many.
“This pre-registration system is another step to ensure that Marylanders can access the tools to stay protected from human monkeypox,” Maryland Health Secretary Dennis R. Schrader said in a statement. “Keeping impacted residents healthy and safe remain our top priorities.”
Those who register and are deemed eligible for the vaccine will receive an email invitation to make an appointment through their local health department.
The health department reports that it has received 14,539 vials of the Jynneos vaccine from the federal government. The state has advised local health departments to follow federal guidance on intradermal injections, which means splitting the vaccine into three to five doses per vial and injecting it under the skin.
The vaccine is free and requires two doses.
Health officials say those who do not meet current criteria still can preregister in case eligibility expands.
The officials also encourage anyone with symptoms to contact a health care provider or the local health department. Symptoms include fever, aches, swollen lymph nodes and a rash.
There are currently 519 cases in Maryland and 19,465 reported nationally, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.