LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Monkeypox cases in Nevada are now in the triple digits, as the country runs low on the vaccine.
Dr. Courtland Lohff the chief medical officer for the Southern Nevada Health District described the concern if cases spread.
“Once it gets into a specific community, we can expect that it’s going to spread from one person to another,” he said.
The Food and Drug Administration announced it would start “dose sparing” which allows one vaccine dose to be split into five.
Nevada medical officials tell 8 News Now it’s safe and effective.
“It’s essentially how we’ve been doing tuberculosis skin testing for a long time. So, it’s just as safe, just as effective. But the good thing is, it allows us to vaccinate a lot more people than before,” said Dr. Lohff.
He also told 8 News Now that there are now three locations administering the vaccine in the area.
Wednesday was the first day ‘The Center Las Vegas’ offered the vaccine.
“We are at the forefront of this disease,” said Mona Lisa Paulo, Director of Clinic and HIV Services at the Center of Las Vegas.
The center serves the LBGTQ plus community who are considered high risk.
“The majority of people that have contracted the disease are gay, bisexual, and men who have sex with men,” Paulo said. “However, we do want to let people know that this disease can affect anyone.”
The Center currently has more than 1,200 doses available.
“We had about a hundred people line up this morning,” she said.
“We don’t have a future allotment yet but we’re hoping to get some,” said Brooke Tom, a nurse who was on site helping administer vaccines.
Tom said dose sparing helps the already stretched thin resources that are available.
“When we got our original allotment, we had 250 doses with the dose sparing which is the new recommendation, it’s now a subdermal injection twice over 28 day period so our original 250 doses has turned in 1,250 doses,” she said.
There has been controversy about dose sparing.
But, for those waiting to get vaccinated the response was: the more the merrier.
“Anything that gets more doses in more people, in more arms, that’s great,” said David Dudar who was awaiting a vaccination.
“I definitely think everybody’s opinions are valid. But, for me I am happy to get the vaccination,” JT Seumalu who was also awaiting a vaccination said.
The Center – Monkeypox vaccinations
- WHEN: Monday – Thursday, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday – Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Southern Nevada Health District – Monkeypox vaccinations
- WHO: Eligible high-risk individuals as resources allow
- WHEN: By appointment only, Monday – Friday 7 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.
- WHERE: 280 S. Decatur Blvd
- NOTE: The Health District encourages people to check the appointment site frequently if they are unable to book an appointment immediately.
Currently, eligibility to receive the vaccine includes:
- People who had close or direct physical contact within the past 14 days with someone confirmed or suspected of having monkeypox. This includes: people who know or suspect their sexual partner(s) of having monkeypox. People who live in the same household as someone they know or suspect of having monkeypox.
- People who have been informed by the Southern Nevada Health District that they are a close contact of someone with monkeypox.
- Gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men, and/or transgender, gender non-conforming, or gender non-binary who had multiple or anonymous sex partners in the last 14 days, especially at a venue, event, or within a social group where a person with a known or suspected case of monkeypox was present.