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Protect Yourself from Monkeypox & COVID-19 Variants

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MONKEYPOX

We learned from COVID-19 how crucial it is to share timely and accurate public health information to prevent an infectious disease from spreading. We also learned one of the most effective ways to save lives, protect health systems and reopen societies and economies is to vaccinate the right groups first. The Hawaiʻi Department of Health (DOH) has received 1,400 doses of the JYNNEOS vaccine, which is used to prevent monkeypox. Hawaiʻi residents 18 and older eligible for vaccination include:

  • Individuals who have had exposure to individual(s) with confirmed orthopoxvirus/monkeypox virus within the last 14 days;
  • Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men and transgender individuals with high risk intimate contact in venues (sex-on-premises events, bathhouses, sex clubs) or areas where monkeypox is known to be spreading in the last 14 days.

Monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Men who have sex with men are at the highest risk of infection right now, but anyone can catch monkeypox regardless of sexual orientation. Individuals who fall in either of the above groups should call DOH at 808-586-4462 for an appointment.

How is monkeypox different from COVID-19? Monkeypox does not spread as easily, infected people are easier to identify, vaccines have already been created and outbreaks are easier to contain. Click on the resources below to learn more:

FEDERAL UPDATES

Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine Now Available for People Ages 18 and Older in the U.S.

On July 19, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) endorsed the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine for use in adults after the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted in favor of recommending it. Find where the vaccine is available in the U.S. at vaccines.gov.

COMIRNATY COVID-19 Vaccine Is Now Approved for Children Ages 12 to 15 

On July 8, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) fully approved the COMIRNATY COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 12 through 15 years of age. The approval follows a rigorous analysis and evaluation of the safety and effectiveness data conducted by FDA. COMIRNATY has been approved for use in individuals 16 years of age and older since August 2021.

STATEWIDE RESOURCES

Get Keiki Vaccinated Before the School Year

The 2022-23 school year is about to begin! Widespread vaccination keeps children, their friends and teachers safe. Children six months and older may get a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines at the same office visit. For more information, watch this PSA.

Vaping and COVID-19 

Vaping has been linked to COVID-19 risk in teens and young adults. A recent Stanford University-led study found that among young people who were tested for COVID-19, those who vaped were five to seven times more likely to be infected than those who did not use e-cigarettes.

How to Prepare for COVID Before Traveling 

Prepare for COVID-19 before traveling with these pre-trip steps:

  • Pack self-tests and high quality masks.
  • Make sure you have easy access to your online medical records.
  • If you’re eligible for a booster, get vaccinated before departing.
  • Be prepared financially and look up where you can get treated if you get COVID.
  • Before traveling, view community spread and travel recommendations at CDC.gov/travel.

Call for COVID-19 Papers

The Hawai‘i Journal of Health and Social Welfare (HJH&SW) is a monthly peer-reviewed journal founded by the Hawaiʻi Medical Association. HJH&SW welcomes submissions for COVID-19 research articles and columns. The deadline to submit an article is November 1, 2022.

PROTECT YOURSELF FROM COVID-19 VARIANTS 

Even though some restrictions have been relaxed, the measures we know to work to protect against COVID-19 are suggested for the newest subvariant of Omicron, BA.5.

  • Masking: If COVID-19 community levels are medium or high in your area, you should wear a mask for an extra layer of protection. Masks can provide protection in a crowded indoor environment and are recommended when using public transportation.
  • Hand washing: Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds during key times; use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.
  • Clean and disinfect your home: Disinfection to reduce transmission of COVID-19 is only needed if someone in your home is sick. Visit the CDC website for some tips.
  • Ventilate your home: Bringing fresh air into your home helps keep virus particles from accumulating. Use the CDC’s interactive tool to learn how you can decrease the level of COVID-19 virus particles in your home.
  • Testing: Get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19, have been exposed, and before attending a large gathering or event. Find a testing site at hawaiicovid19.com.
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