Georgians hopeful public health declaration will help make Monkeypox vaccine more accessible

This digitally-colorized electron microscopic (EM) image depicted monkeypox virus particles, obtained from a clinical sample associated with the 2003 prairie dog outbreak. It was a thin section image from of a human skin sample. On the left were mature, oval-shaped virus particles, and on the right were the crescents, and spherical particles of immature virions.

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — On Thursday, President Joe Biden declared monkeypox a public health emergency.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are more than 6,000 cases nationwide. In Georgia, there are 544 cases, with four of those cases being women.

The reality is doctors say anyone can get monkeypox, which is why they are pushing the vaccine.

But Channel 2 learned getting the shot is not so easy.

“I had to drive... 45 minutes,” Raymond Sekandi told Channel 2′s Veronica Griffin.

A drive Sekandi is hopeful will improve for others with Thursday’s ‘public health emergency’ on the monkeypox outbreak.

Channel 2 has reported on the difficulty to get a vaccination spot. Last week, both Gwinnett and DeKalb Counties filled their vaccination spots in just several hours.

“Because it was very hard to get a vaccine ,the registration link would get rolled out and in like three minutes, the spots were all taken,” Sekandi said.

Channel 2 also spoke with the medical director for Wellstar Health System.

Dr. Danny Branstetter says the new public health designation for monkeypox allows the federal government to increase its response to this highly contagious disease.

“It mobilizes resources to help contain this infection and prevent the spread in our community,” Branstetter said.

Infectious disease doctors have continuously made it clear that the outbreak is not exclusive to the gay community.

It’s a clarification that those who are directly affected by the disease or know someone who is infected, can appreciate.

“This can be caught between anyone at any time. I wish vaccines were taken more seriously in the beginning,” Sekandi said.

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