— The state of North Carolina has now received almost 450 doses of Jynneos, the vaccine to combat monkeypox.

The state’s health department says this vaccine can prevent illness, or lead to less severe symptoms, if given within 2 weeks after someone is exposed.

Wake and Durham County health departments have strict criteria on who can get the monkeypox vaccine, in part because there are so few available right now.

The North Carolina doses have been allocated to seven local health departments, including Wake and Durham counties.

Wake County received 20 doses, while Durham County now has 62.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services told WRAL they’ll be getting another wave of vaccines next week, so these numbers could change quickly.

Dr. Nicole Mushonga, the Interim Director of Public Health for Wake County, said not everyone needs a monkeypox vaccine at this point.

“Right now we’re really focusing on controlling where we’re currently at and individuals that have had exposure,” Dr. Mushonga explained.

She said while people should be aware of the virus, they should mainly be concerned if they’ve been exposed.

“We know that monkeypox is rare, and we’re not talking about the transmissibility that we’ve seen with COVID-19,” Mushonga said.

In Wake County, the Health Department has received under 10 calls about the vaccine; in Durham the health department has heard from about 30 people with questions about eligibility.

The company that developed the monkeypox vaccine has ties to the Triangle.

The international vaccine developer, Bavarian Nordic, is based in Denmark, but they also have an office in Morrisville.

The Morrisville office has a development team, working on clinical operations. They opened in 2017.

In a recent op-ed, the company’s CEO said in 2003, the US Government partnered with Bavarian Nordic to develop a safer vaccine for smallpox.

CEO Paul Chaplin points out a major difference between this latest virus and COVID-19; in the case of monkeypox, the vaccine has already been created.

The U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, or BARDA, has ordered another 2.5 million doses of monkeypox vaccine from Bavarian Nordic.

Wake County has reported one case of monkeypox. Durham County has reported none.

You can learn more about monkeypox vaccines in Durham here, and in Wake here.

The CDC also has more information about FDA-approved monkeypox vaccines here.

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