Hawaiʻi DOH expands monkeypox vaccine eligibility, reports four more cases
The Hawaiʻi Department of Health is reporting four additional monkeypox cases in Hawaiʻi and is expanding JYNNEOS vaccination eligibility for prevention of monkeypox.
The four new cases involve:
- An Oʻahu resident whose case is related to travel outside Hawaiʻi
- An Oʻahu resident whose case is related to previously reported cases
- An Oʻahu resident whose case is still being investigated
- A non-resident who was diagnosed on Kauaʻi and whose case is related to travel outside Hawaiʻi
This brings the total number of cases reported in Hawaiʻi since June 3 to 16. DOH continues to conduct contact tracing and follow-up with all reported cases.
“As more vaccine doses become available, we are expanding vaccine eligibility to communities that have been disproportionately impacted by this outbreak and individuals who are at risk for severe illness,” said Deputy State Epidemiologist Dr. Nathan Tan in a Department press release. “While the risk to most Hawaiʻi residents remains low, we encourage all eligible individuals to get vaccinated to prevent further transmission and protect our community.”
The JYNNEOS vaccine is available statewide to Hawaiʻi residents 18 and older. The expanded vaccination eligibility includes:
- Close contact in the last 14 days with a person with known or suspected monkeypox infection;
- Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men and transgender individuals who have multiple or anonymous sex partners;
- Persons with severe immune compromise (e.g., advanced or poorly controlled HIV infection, active cancer treatment, high-dose steroids) or certain skin conditions, such as eczema; AND who have a household member or sex partner at high risk for monkeypox.
DOH and healthcare providers in each county who directly reach individuals at higher risk of monkeypox exposure continue to vaccinate eligible individuals. Individuals eligible for vaccination can make an appointment by contacting:
In order to accommodate the expanded eligibility criteria, DOH is offering vaccination on Oʻahu on Saturday, Aug. 20 and Sunday, Aug. 21 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Blaisdell Center. Vaccination will be by appointment only—appointments can be scheduled online at health.hawaii.gov/docd/mpxvax or by phone at 808-586-4462.
DOH has received approximately 2,800 doses of JYNNEOS and continues to order Hawaiʻi’s full allocation from the federal government. More than 1,000 doses have been administered.
JYNNEOS is a two-dose series administered approximately four weeks apart. The vaccine may be administered between layers of the skin, similar to a TB skin test, or under the skin. Both routes of administration provide the same, high level of protection.
Monkeypox is mainly spread through close, intimate contact with body fluids, lesion material, or items used by someone with monkeypox. Monkeypox may be spread through large respiratory droplets. These droplets generally cannot travel more than a few feet, so prolonged contact is required, according to the DOH.
“Nationwide, the current cases are primarily spreading among social networks of gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. In Hawaiʻi, at least some of the cases have been reported among gay or bisexual men. However, anyone who has close contact with someone with monkeypox is at risk of infection, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity,” the DOH advises.
Testing & Treatment
The DOH reports that individuals with monkeypox symptoms, including flu-like symptoms, swollen lymph nodes, or new or unexplained rash or sores, “should immediately contact their healthcare provider.” Testing and treatment are available through healthcare providers.