A limited supply of the monkeypox vaccine is being prioritized for residents in certain high-risk categories, state health officials announced on Thursday.
Illinois received 7,371 doses of the Jynneos vaccine and the City of Chicago received 18,707 doses as of Thursday, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) said.
Local health officials were advised that unless an individual is in certain elevated risk categories, they should receive an initial dose only until supply increases.
“The change is intended to ensure that as many individuals are vaccinated as soon as possible with a first shot in order to reduce the spread of the virus.”
Healthcare providers were notified Thursday morning of the prioritization, IDPH said.
At least 401 cases of confirmed or probable cases of the monkeypox virus were reported in the state.
85% of the cases are in Chicago and the rest are in 13 counties, IDPH said.
Illinois has designated 4,631 doses of its inventory to Chicago.
“In many instances, this directive will mean that individuals will not get a second dose at 28-days after their first dose,” IDPH said.
“The policy is consistent with the distribution strategy taken in other US jurisdictions, including the City of Chicago as well as the United Kingdom and Canada.”
Studies show the monkeypox vaccine offers protection for at least several months after the first dose.
Second doses should be scheduled as soon as a sufficient supply of the vaccine becomes available, IDPH said.
The monkeypox virus does not spread easily without close contact.
The virus has primarily affected men who have sex with other men, IDPH said.
Monkeypox can spread through contact with bodily fluids, monkeypox sores or shared items like clothing and bedding that have been contaminated.
The virus can also be spread through respiratory droplets usually in a close setting.
Common household disinfectants can kill the monkeypox virus, IDPH said.
Anyone that has a rash illness should talk with or see their healthcare provider.
They should not have close contact with other people until they have seen a health provider and arranged to be tested, IDPH added.