State health officials reported 17 new monkeypox cases on Thursday, yet another decrease from last week as more than 15,000 people in Massachusetts have been vaccinated against the virus.
The count of 17 new monkeypox cases in the Bay State was down from 30 infections during the previous week, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
It brings the total number of monkeypox cases in the state to 364 since the state’s first case was announced in mid-May. That first case was also the country’s first confirmed infection.
More than 99% of the reported 364 monkeypox cases have been male. Also, the age group with the most cases has been 30-39 with 129 infections, followed by 20-29 with 110 cases and 40-49 with 81 cases.
The JYNNEOS vaccine is now being administered intradermally into the skin at a lower dose that still provides the same immune response.
Since the start of June, 21,886 JYNNEOS vaccine doses have been administered to 15,601 people in Massachusetts. Of the people who’ve been vaccinated, 93% have been male.
Fourteen health care providers are offering vaccinations across the state, and the Bay State has activated mobile providers to assist in vaccine administration.
“Due to extremely limited national availability of vaccine, the JYNNEOS vaccine in Massachusetts still remains limited at this time,” DPH said in a statement last week. “Vaccination is available to individuals who meet the CDC’s eligibility criteria and who live or work in Massachusetts. Vaccine is prioritized for individuals at greatest risk of exposure to someone with monkeypox.”
Monkeypox spreads primarily through close contact with infectious sores, scabs or body fluids. It can also be spread through touching objects that have been used by someone with monkeypox and respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact.
Monkeypox can spread during intimate contact like sex, kissing or touching parts of the body with sores, but the risk of monkeypox is not limited to people who are sexually active.