With demand for monkeypox vaccine exceeding supply, Montgomery County officials are appealing to Gov. Larry Hogan to provide more doses.
The county has received about 850 vaccine doses and asked the state to provide 2,000 more.
During a Monday evening virtual meeting on monkeypox, county health officials explained the District receives more vaccines than the county because D.C. is treated like a state. While the city gets its vaccine directly from the federal government, the county’s vaccines are furnished by the Maryland Department of Health.
“Gov. Hogan, we need more Monkey Pox vaccinations. Residents are anxious and frustrated, and we need you to do the right thing and provide us more doses,” said Montgomery County Council Vice President Evan Glass.
“As the first LGBTQ+ member of the council, this is not only about public health. This is personal for me,” Glass said.
Glass told the Zoom session that while anyone can become infected by monkeypox, 99% of the cases are in men, of whom 94% had reported recent same-sex intimate contact.
“This is an all-hands-on-deck situation, and we are coordinating across all levels of government,” Glass said.
The county’s acting health officer, Dr. James Bridgers, recommended practicing harm reduction strategies like hand washing, avoiding physical contact with those recently diagnosed with monkeypox, and not sharing bedding and utensils.
“Avoid parties, clubs, saunas, backrooms, places where there’s anonymous contact, where there’s minimal clothing and where there’s direct personal skin-to-skin contact,” Bridgers said.
The county plans to launch a monkeypox data dashboard next week that will include case demographics, risk profiles, number of vaccines administered and local positive case transmission rates.