Update on Monkeypox vaccine and status in Coachella Valley

RANCHO MIRAGE — Some Coachella Valley residents have begun requesting the monkeypox vaccine. To that end, Eisenhower Health is updating the community about the current status of the disease and vaccine supply.

While monkeypox is not yet widespread, there was recently a probable case in the Coachella Valley, which means our community should take note of precautions that can be taken to prevent spread.

At this time, Eisenhower Health can only provide the vaccine for the recommended use of vaccination after exposure (also called post-exposure prophylaxis or PEP) as directed by Riverside County Public Health on a case-by-case basis. There has been no prescribed directive or vaccine supply provided for administration of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for at-risk patients.

On June 28, 2022, the federal government indicated that it would release more vaccines to areas with the highest case rates. Riverside County Public Health has outlined its plan for distribution once they receive a supply from the California Department of Public Health.

This distribution may take some time. Should allocations of vaccine be distributed to our region and specifically our health system, Eisenhower will provide the vaccine per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and as directed by the Riverside County Department of Public Health. Eisenhower will update the community when further information is available.

Coachella Valley residents are encouraged to review the CDC’s tips for preventing exposure to monkeypox.  If you have lesions, please do not attend social events where you might spread the disease. If you suspect you have monkeypox, please contact your physician or an urgent care facility. Testing for monkeypox will be coordinated with Riverside County Public Health, which provides the testing kit.

Monkeypox is transmitted through skin-to-skin contact and does not spread easily between people without close contact. Symptoms include a rash that may look like pimples or blisters, and may be accompanied by fever, swollen lymph nodes, or fatigue.  There are no treatments that are specific for monkeypox.  However, in limited situations, vaccination (developed to prevent smallpox) may be recommended for close contacts or those who may have been exposed to the virus.



Image Sources

  • Monkeypox Virus: Shutterstock