The Florida Department of Health is asking for more vaccines from the federal government to combat a monkeypox outbreak.
State health officials said Florida leads the nation in monkeypox infections with more than 200 cases. There are about 2,000 cases nationally and 14,000 worldwide.
Dr. Ulyee Cho with FDOH said the state health agency is increase vaccine supply while encouraging high risk groups to become inoculated.
“From our state perspective, we are working with and allocating as much as we can and hopefully as vaccines increase and production increases and we can get more for the state,” Cho said. “We are really dictated by the federal government allocation. We get 25,000 here for state of Florida and again with more than half going to the areas with most disease. Some parts of the state have zero cases. We are trying to prioritize where we see the most transmission.”
Health officials said more than 75% of all cases in Florida have been reported in just Broward and Miami-Dade Counties.
FDOH is providing an online dashboard for the public to receive the latest case information.
High risk groups include sexually active gay men, healthcare workers and anyone who comes into close contact with a confirmed positive case.
Dr. Cho said an increase in vaccine supply will continue, and planning is underway regarding a larger distribution.
“We are in the planning stages. We’ve had some discussions again with local community partners, and we have begun transferring vaccine to those community partners. So hopefully we will continue to transfer and continue to work with community partners and as more vaccines become more available, to sort of expand that operation,” Cho said.
Dr. Cho also said with an increase in testing for monkeypox, an increase in confirmed positive cases is expected.
FODH-Seminole also reached out to News 6 to announce that in the event of a case being reported, it will conduct an investigation to notify anyone who may have been exposed. The agency added it will be offering monkeypox vaccines to high-risk groups as doses become available.