Monkeypox vaccine eligibility in LA County expands to people under 18 who are at high risk

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Friday, August 19, 2022
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Los Angeles County announced Thursday an expansion of monkeypox vaccine eligibility to include those under age 18 who are considered at high risk of infection.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles County announced Thursday an expansion of monkeypox vaccine eligibility to include those under age 18 who are considered at high risk of infection.

L.A. County Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis said Thursday the county was expanding eligibility to those under age 18 "who are determined to be a high risk of monkeypox infection."

All minors must have consent from a parent or guardian to be vaccinated. Those aged 16 or 17 should be accompanied at a vaccination site by a parent or guardian, if possible, or they can simply present a signed consent form. Those under age 16 must have a parent or guardian present to get vaccinated, in addition to a signed consent form, Davis said.

Minors under age 18 are not eligible for the intradermal injection, so they must receive the full subcutaneous dosage, under the terms of the emergency use authorization for the shots approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Health officials are ramping up efforts in Southern California and across the nation as the monkeypox crisis grows. In L.A. County, the number of cases have doubled in the past two weeks.

As of Thursday, Los Angeles County reported 971 - not including Long Beach and Pasadena which have their own health departments. Long Beach has reported 50 cases and Pasadena has reported 15 cases.

Meanwhile, Supervisor Hilda Solis announced the opening of the new vaccination site at the Jack Crippen Senior Center at 3120 Tyler Ave. in El Monte.

Depending on the availability of limited vaccine supply, some 100 residents can be vaccinated on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the new site, Solis' office said.

Residents must be pre-registered and have received a verification text to be vaccinated.

With more than 13,000 confirmed monkeypox cases across the country, the White House monkeypox response team says it will ship out 1.8 million doses next week.

The increase is made possible through the FDA-authorized strategy of smaller, shallowly injected doses, which increases supply five-fold.

The Biden administration is also launching a new program aimed at making vaccines available at large Pride events attracting LGBTQ+ communities.

"Jurisdictions hosting these events can request to receive additional vaccine allocations based on the size and nature of the event and the ability to reach attendees who are at the highest risk of monkeypox," said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky.

The administration is pre-positioning doses of the antiviral treatment TPOXX for individuals who test positive.

Dr. Muntu Davis said vaccine providers are starting to administer second doses to those who got their first dose more than 28 days ago. He also issued guidance to those who work in massage and skin care to use caution when encountering clients with rashes, open sores and scabs.

City News Service contributed to this report.