DES MOINES — State health officials say they are actively monitoring the state’s monkeypox cases and are strategically deploying its limited vaccinations. Federal officials allocated about 2500 doses of the monkeypox vaccine to Iowa, which reports just over a dozen confirmed cases statewide.
Iowa Department of Human Services Director Kelly Garcia says the state is following federal guidelines to target the vaccine towards certain populations considered most at risk. Garcia says, “We’re focused on gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men, including transgender individuals who are 18 years of age and have had either multiple new or multiple sex partners in the last month, who have had close contact with others at a venue where there was likely a suspected probable or confirmed case of monkeypox.”
Garcia says the state is also reserving a small amount of vaccine doses for -other- close contacts. “That could be other household members, you know, think about parents or partners that are in the house who might be exposed to this particular disease,” she says, “as well as healthcare professionals who might need it as well.”
Iowa’s first case of monkeypox was reported in Polk County on July 11th and there have since been 12 more confirmed cases statewide. Federal health officials report about 9000 cases nationwide.