12/10/2023 – Mpox Deadly Strain, Disparities in Mpox Vaccinations

By | December 10, 2023

Unless you’re digging for information its hard to find news about of Mpox, despite it’s continued presence in Minneapolis, the country and the world. When information was available it was confusing and sometimes contradictory. The Federal government declared a “state of emergency” regarding Mpox fall 2023 as the emergency was ending; new cases began to drop late summer and early fall of last year. When vaccinations became available in the Summer of 2022, it was hard to know who was eligible for the vaccinations due to poor communication by public health officials. The scarcity of the vaccination made many people who are eligible wait. When supply was no longer an issue–no one said “now is the time”.

The CDC at the beginning of 2023 estimated that 7% of those eligible for Mpox vaccinations received both dosages of JYNNEOS, the vaccinated used to protect against Mpox. This year cases are much lower than year but we’ve seen surges in Chicago, California and Oregon. The surge in Chicago proceed the first 2023 Mpox cases in Minnesota.

The Center for Disease Control is issuing an alert about a new deadly strain of Mpox seen in the Democratic Republic of the Congo where nearly 600 people have died—this greatly surpass the 200 deaths that occurred worldwide last year. Political chaos and fractured health care system account for some deaths but not the disproportionality of these deaths due to a death strain of Mpox. This strain was believed to originate from a Belgian traveler visiting the Congo.

For more information on the Mpox outreach in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Click here.

Who should get vaccinated?
To summarize, if you or someone that you live with, are sexual or intimate contact with can say yes to any of the following then a Mpox Vaccination should be considered.

Our vaccination partner is M Fairview Health here is their criteria. If you or someone what you live with, someone that you might hug, cuddle, or have sex, of have skin-to-skin contact should consider a vaccination:

Fairview Health System Vaccination Criteria

(Orthopoxvirus = Mpox)

Again, if you, your housemates, cuddle buddy, intimate/sexual partners can say “yes” to the following, then consider an Mpox vaccination. If there is a change of a skin-to-skin contact (nonsexual contact included), then I would consider getting vaccinated. Other people recommended for vaccination:

  • A gay monogamous couple who occasionally dances without their shirts on at cruises.
  • A straight roommate with sexually active gay and straight roommates.
  • A flight attended concerned about there health in cramped airports and airplanes.
  • A group of friends who are cis males (gay and straight), non-binary that ski, practice yoga, play contact sports.
  • A group of hot yogis

It’s important to remember for those of us who are eligible for Mpox vaccinations or the 4 scenerios mentions above have a low change of being exposed to Mpox, but I say “Why risk it!”. Just two vaccinations provides the protection needed to prevent or lesson the impact of an Mpox infection.

It was estimated in June 2023 that 66% of those eligible HAVE NOT being vaccinated. Looking at data with race and ethnicity reported it shows that 78% of eligible African-Americans and 74% Indigenous and 63 of Latinx communities have yet to be vaccinated. Yet African-Americans/Latinx represent 90 percent of the deaths related to Mpox.

The Minneapolis Mpox Taskforce, M Fairview Health, City of Minneapolis Health Department sponsor vaccination clinics on the North and South sides of Minneapolis. Our next clinics are as follows:

Can’t join us in December, here’s what we have planned for next year:

If you have more questions, visit our MPLSPOX.COM > MPox 101, or e-mail us at: info@mplspox.com. Text or call: 612-432-2231. Our vaccination pages had other information and vaccination locations.