RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The Monkeypox vaccine has made its way to Texas for distribution as the Texas Department of State Health Services received over 14,000 doses of the JYNNEOS monkeypox vaccine.
The Rio Grande Valley has not received any confirmed monkeypox cases, but health officials are getting prepared.
“It’s hard for us to receive any vaccinations, we have a zero incidence. We have requested 300 vaccinations in preparation, in case we ever have the need for it,” said Hidalgo County Health Authority Dr. Ivan Melendez.
Dr. Melendez said there are 235 confirmed monkeypox cases in Texas.
“Distributions of all vaccines are always based on incidents to that particular community. The closest community that we have that has tested positive,” he said.
He said although they have requested the vaccines, they may not be receiving them yet.
“Whether we get them or not, we don’t know yet, but we have done everything we can as a local health department to go through the system so have at least some in waiting, should the need occur,” said Dr. Melendez.
Chris Van Deusen, a spokesman for the Texas Department of State Health Services, said the vaccines arrived to them over the weekend.
“The priority is where we are seeing the most cases…we shipped out about 5,000 doses to Dallas County right away because they have had more cases than any other areas of the state, said Van Deusen.
He explained that there are several factors when it comes to the health department’s requests.
“Local health departments can make those requests and it’s something we certainly would look at and it really does just depend on the vaccine supply and the situation at the time and when we are expecting to get more,” he said.
He said although a local health department may not have vaccines on hand, once a case is confirmed, the shipping process is fast.