Colorado health officials are providing monkeypox, COVID updates

Health officials are focusing on distributing monkeypox vaccinations in the Denver metro area, where community outbreaks have been reported.

DENVER – Colorado Department of Public Health and Environmental Protection (CDPHE) health officials said monkeypox vaccines are currently in very limited supply and thousands of people are on the waiting list during an update Thursday.

They also said that the number of COVID-19 cases is decreasing after peaking in recent months.

monkey pox

As of Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 13,517 confirmed cases nationwide.

CDPHE said there were 168 confirmed cases in Colorado as of Thursday, and the case rate is rising.

“We saw a steady increase in cases during July, and since then, a consistent number of cases have been reported every day,” said state epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy reported.

As with COVID, data on the number of cases may lag, Herlihy said.

Scott Bookman, director of the Division of Disease Control and Public Health, said supplies of monkeypox vaccines from the federal government are currently very limited, but he expects more vaccinations to be available in the coming weeks and months.

“We’re prioritizing this vaccine in the most common areas of the community and the areas with the greatest need,” Bookman said. “Right now it’s mostly the Denver metro area, but Dr. Herlihy and his team are evaluating data every day, looking at where cases are occurring, and we’re moving the vaccine to every community that needs it.”

Denver Health has identified more than half of the confirmed cases of monkeypox in the state, said Chief Medical Officer Dr. Connie Price said.

> Watch the full update below:

Bookman said there are currently several thousand people on CDPHE’s vaccine waiting list, but the number is growing as more people sign up in multiple locations.

“We are working [the waitlist]and we continue to expand access to providers across the state,” Bookman said.

At the beginning of the outbreak, he said, CDPHE was the sole provider of vaccines. There are currently 59 monkeypox vaccine providers in Colorado who have distributed a total of 3,546 doses.

“Our goal is to continue to expand access through a number of different providers and make sure that this vaccine is available to those who need it most for post-exposure prophylaxis.”

More information about testing and vaccination availability can be found on the CDPHE website.

Herlihy said CDPHE will launch a dashboard on its website with the latest information on monkeypox, similar to the dashboard created for the COVID pandemic.

RELATED: US declares public health emergency over monkeypox outbreak

The federal government declared a public health emergency in August. 5 to strengthen the response to outbreaks of monkey disease.

The announcement freed up money and other resources to fight the virus, which can cause fever, body aches, chills, fatigue and pimple-like bumps on many parts of the body.

On August 9, US health officials approved a new monkeypox vaccination strategy, allowing medical professionals to vaccinate up to five people with each vial instead of one.

The dose-saving approach also requires the Ginneos vaccine to be injected under the skin rather than deep tissue – which improves the immune system. Recipients still get two shots four weeks apart.

A very unusual step is to publicly admit that the United States currently does not have the resources to vaccinate everyone who wants to be protected against the rapidly spreading virus.

COVID-19

After peaking in early June, Herlihy said, Colorado’s COVID cases have steadily declined over the past few weeks.

The current positivity rate of 7.61% is also significantly lower than the 13.06% on July 5th during the last rally that started in May.

The BA.5 subvariant is omicron, which accounted for nearly 80% of cases in the state as of July 10 and is the predominant strain in the state.

RELATED: Latest COVID-19 numbers: Average daily cases below 1,000 for first time since early May

According to the latest data from CDPHE, a total of 77.8% of Colorado residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 69.9% are fully vaccinated.

As of August, there are 236 hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across the state. In 2016 and over the past seven days, an average of 992 new viruses were reported per day.

Hospitalizations are a key indicator for health officials because they indicate that the virus is overwhelming the health care system. As vaccines become more widely available, doctors say the majority of new COVID-19 hospital admissions are people who can’t get the shot.

> See CDPHE raw data here.

> Find the latest information on COVID-19 vaccines here.

RELATED: ‘Covid is still here’: CDPHE reacts to easing of CDC’s COVID-19 guidelines

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