Monkeypox Updates and Resources

August 4, 2022

GNYHA continues to monitor the monkeypox outbreak and is providing members with rapidly evolving updates and guidance issued by State and Federal bodies. The following summarizes key updates from the New York State Department of Health (DOH), the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), and national/Federal entities.

New York State Updates

Vaccine Allocation and Eligibility Criteria

New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced that additional JYNNEOS vaccine will be distributed to local health departments following Phase 3 Federal Allotment of Doses. The Federal government is dividing the allocations into three installments. The first installment for DOH will be made of 11,840 vaccines (or 40% of the Phase 3 total allocation to New York State). New York City will receive approximately 32,000 doses in the first installment of Phase 3, which the Federal government will send directly to DOHMH. Consistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance advising post-exposure prophylaxis for the current monkeypox outbreak, eligibility criteria for New Yorkers includes:

  • Individuals with recent exposure to monkeypox within the past 14 days
  • Those at high risk of a recent exposure to monkeypox, including members of the gay, bisexual, transgender, and gender non-conforming community and other communities of men who have sex with men and who have engaged in intimate or skin-to-skin contact with others in the past 14 days in areas where monkeypox is spreading
  • Individuals who have had skin-to-skin contact with someone in a social network experiencing monkeypox activity, including men who have sex with men who meet partners via a website, digital application, or social event such as a bar or party

GNYHA encourages members to review DOH’s dedicated website, which further details eligibility criteria and current data on monkeypox case counts.

Provider Webinar

DOH and DOHMH will host a webinar to update providers on monkeypox. Webinar information is below:

The webinar will be recorded and posted at the same link. GNYHA encourages providers to share the link with staff who care for patients infected with monkeypox.

New York City Updates

On August 2, DOHMH released an updated health advisory on accessing tecovirimat for persons infected with monkeypox and interim guidance for treatment of monkeypox. The advisory details indications for the use of tecovirimat and how to prescribe it for patients. The advisory also asks providers to complete the informed consent form and e-mail for instructions on how to record patient identifier information and to arrange for delivery of prescriptions to your site or directly to the patient via a New York City pharmacy courier service. Providers seeing patients with monkeypox should review both the advisory and the interim guidance, which also detail supportive care in addition to the use of tecovirimat.

National Updates

National Response Coordinators Named

Yesterday, President Joe Biden named Robert Fenton the White House National Monkeypox Response Coordinator and Demetre Daskalakis, MD, the White House National Monkeypox Response Deputy Coordinator. Fenton and Dr. Daskalakis will lead the Administration’s response to monkeypox, including increasing the availability of tests, vaccinations, and treatments.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “Dear Colleague” Letter

On July 27, the CDC issued a “Dear Colleague” letter on addressing symptoms for patients affected by monkeypox. The lesions may not be overtly visible on the initial physical exam and can be associated with pain out of proportion to expectations based on clinical experience with sexually transmitted disease in the same anatomic areas such as herpes simplex. The letter further notes that pain relief is an essential part of caregiving and asks all providers to assess pain in all patients with monkeypox virus infection and use topical and systemic strategies to manage pain from mucosal lesions that are not evident on physical exam. GNYHA encourages providers to review the full letter for additional strategies on managing patients with monkeypox virus.

GNYHA will continue to provide updates on monkeypox-related issues.