PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — In advance of summer gatherings and travel, Oregon Health Authority is encouraging individuals to get vaccinated with both doses of the mpox vaccine.
Health officials say that there are one to three mpox cases reported in Oregon per month, but that the outbreak that started in June of last year is not over.
“There are reports of increases in cases in the United States and across the globe, including in France and South Korea,” said Tim Menza, senior health adviser for OHA’s mpox response.
According to OHA, there have been 280 cases in 12 counties since the start of the outbreak, and no deaths.
On May 15, the CDC issued an advisory, warning healthcare providers of ongoing transmission in the U.S. and internationally.
“We have the tools to prevent a resurgence in Oregon, including testing, vaccination, treatment, strong community partnerships and data to guide our response,” Menza said. “As we gather and travel for Pride celebrations in Oregon and around the country next month, we can use these tools now to help us avoid repeating the outbreak of 2022.”
The JYNNEOS vaccine is free and available to anyone in the state. As of May 15, 20,972 doses have been administered in Oregon, including 13,084 first doses and 7,703 second doses.
“People with two doses of the vaccine can feel confident in their protection, but breakthrough cases are possible, so if you’ve been vaccinated and notice a new spot or rash, talk to your healthcare provider,” Menza said. “We are still learning how long vaccination protection lasts, but we know that vaccines make getting and spreading mpox less likely, and help make symptoms less severe.”
OHA says that mpox spreads primarily through close, skin-to-skin contact. Most often, it has occurred through intimate or sexual contact. The majority of cases were found in gay and bisexual men, according to health officials.