Monkeypox vaccine supply low ahead of fall semester at Connecticut schools, colleges
Vaccine supplies for monkeypox are running low just before students are set to start their fall semester at Connecticut schools and colleges.
Yale Medicine physician Dr. F. Perry Wilson says the fall semester might give the virus room to run as children gather in classrooms.
"There is some concern for the younger kids in school because monkeypox can actually be a bit more severe in younger children, as opposed to young adults,” said Wilson.
He says transmission off surfaces is difficult, and students can protect themselves by sanitizing their hands and keeping them to themselves.
"If you're not putting that in your mouth or rubbing your eyes and stuff, transmission's going to be difficult, so let's keep hands clean," said Wilson.
Wilson says monkeypox outbreaks may be more likely on college campuses.
"People are living in very close proximity, there's multiple people in dorm rooms, the sanitary conditions are often not the best, and I can speak from personal experience," he said.
Wilson likens monkeypox transmission to bacterial meningitis, which incoming freshmen usually get vaccinated for.
"That's a bacterial infection, but it transmits really in close quarters, where there's saliva or other body fluids being exchanged, and this is a real college type of phenomenon,” Wilson explained.
The most popular monkeypox vaccine has been Jynneos. Most college students in the U.S. likely won't have access to shots until October at the earliest.
"When the vaccine does come in, we'll have a lot more data on what's happening in colleges and it may, at that point, be more appropriate to consider a college vaccination campaign,” Wilson said.
Representatives with Connecticut State Colleges & Universities say they're working with state partners on accurate, up-to-date guidance on monkeypox ahead of the fall semester.