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News Release
OHA encourages mpox vaccination - 05/23/24

May 23, 2024

Media Contact: Jonathan Modie, 971-246-9139, PHD.Communications@oha.oregon.gov

OHA encourages mpox vaccination

PORTLAND, Ore. – As people gather and travel to celebrate Pride Month in June, health officials are reminding Oregonians about the importance of protecting themselves and their community by getting the mpox vaccine.

Dean Sidelinger, M.D., M.S.Ed., health officer and state epidemiologist at Oregon Health Authority (OHA), said the number of mpox infections in the state has dropped significantly since an outbreak in June 2022. However, the virus continues to circulate at low levels, with occasional increases in case counts.

“Mpox activity has generally remained low, but by no means has this virus gone away in Oregon or other parts of the country,” Sidelinger said. “Pride is a great time for people in the LGBTQIA2S+ community to show support for themselves, their partners and their community by getting both doses of the mpox vaccine.”

Oregon saw between 10 and 15 mpox cases reported each week when the outbreak peaked in August 2022. Since then, weekly case counts have ranged between no cases to two or three cases. There were 270 mpox cases in 2022, 30 cases in 2023 and, as of April 30, eight cases so far in 2024. There have been no deaths.

The JYNNEOS mpox vaccine is highly effective. According to a May 2023 study published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the vaccine was found to be 75% effective for those receiving one dose and 86% effective for those who had two doses.

Until last month, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) distributed JYNNEOS to vaccine providers at no cost. On April 1, JYNNEOS manufacturer Bavarian Nordic launched the vaccine on the commercial market, so providers will now bill health insurance to cover the cost. HHS will continue to make JYNNEOS vaccine available as needed; the vaccine remains free to Oregon Health Plan members, and Oregon law requires vaccine’s cost to be covered for others with commercial insurance.

Mpox spreads primarily through close, skin-to-skin contact. Most often, it has occurred through intimate or sexual contact, and during contact with the lesions of an individual with mpox through a caregiving relationship, such as a parent caring for a child or an adult caretaker of another person.

Infection rates are highest among people living in Multnomah County, those ages 30 to 39, and members of the Latino/a/x/e and Black/African American communities. Most cases were men who reported having sex with men, and most identified as gay or bisexual men.

People who suspect they have mpox should contact their health care provider to let them know before going in to be seen. The provider may recommend testing for mpox. Those who don’t have a health care provider can call 2-1-1 or their local public health authority for help finding a clinic or health care provider.

For more information about mpox in Oregon, visit OHA’s mpox website. Vaccination clinics can also be searched by ZIP code with an mpox vaccine locator tool at https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/Monkeypox/Pages/vaccine.aspx or at https://mpoxvaxmap.org/.

View more news releases from Oregon Health Authority.