The DSHS received 14,780 doses of Jynneos, the monkeypox vaccine, according to a July 25 news release.
The health department's monkeypox dashboard shows 183 cases in Texas as of July 22. Men accounted for 180 of these cases, and women accounted for three. Case counts are updated semiweekly.
Many monkeypox cases are among men who have sexual contact with other men, according to the release. The virus is primarily transmitted through direct skin-to-skin contact, and having close contact with a large number of people is a major risk factor.
“I would caution anybody, whether you're in that population or not—if you get sick or you develop a rash, to avoid that close contact with [others],” DSHS Media Relations Director Chris Van Deusen told Community Impact Newspaper on June 30.
Very young children, elderly people and people with pre-existing conditions are more likely to have serious symptoms after contracting the virus, Van Deusen said.
Supply of the monkeypox vaccine is limited, and further shipments likely will not be available until late August or early September, according to the release. The health department sent 5,120 vaccines to Dallas County, which reported 83 confirmed monkeypox cases and eight suspected cases on July 25. This is the highest number of cases in the state, DSHS said.
The state health department said that Houston and Harris County received roughly 5,000 doses in a separate shipment, directly from the federal Strategic National Stockpile.
The other 9,660 doses will be sent to local health departments and regional DSHS offices, according to the release. People who have been exposed or are assumed to be exposed to the virus will be eligible for the vaccine.
Monkeypox is a severe acute illness that typically begins with symptoms that include a fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion, according to the DSHS website. A rash soon appears on the face or inside the mouth and can spread to other parts of the body. The rash may look like pimples or blisters.
The illness typically lasts for two to four weeks and can be confused with chickenpox, shingles or a sexually transmitted infection, the website said.
The vaccine is most effective within four days after exposure to the virus, according to the release. If Texans receive the vaccine five to 14 days after exposure, they may still get sick, but have reduced symptoms. Officials said people need two doses of the vaccine to be fully vaccinated.
Monkeypox can be painful but is rarely life threatening, according to the DSHS. Texans with monkeypox have only been hospitalized for pain management, and there have not been any reported monkeypox deaths in the United States, the release said.