Governor Newsom Declares State of Emergency to Support State’s Response to Monkeypox

SACRAMENTO – As part of the state’s ongoing response to the monkeypox outbreak, Governor Gavin Newsom today declared a state of emergency to bolster the state’s immunization efforts. The proclamation supports ongoing work by the California Department of Public Health and other members of the administration to coordinate a whole-of-government response to monkeypox, research additional vaccines, and conduct outreach and education efforts on the access to vaccines and treatments.

“California is working urgently at all levels of government to slow the spread of monkeypox, leveraging our robust testing, contact tracing and strengthened community partnerships during the pandemic to ensure those most at risk are our priority for vaccines, treatment and awareness,” Governor Newsom said. “We will continue to work with the federal government to get more vaccines, raise awareness about harm reduction, and support the LGBTQ community in the fight against stigma.”

To expand vaccination efforts, the proclamation allows emergency medical services (EMS) personnel to administer monkeypox vaccines that are FDA-approved, similar to the recently enacted legal authorization for pharmacists in administer vaccines. The state’s response to monkeypox is building on the infrastructure developed during the COVID-19 pandemic to deploy vaccination clinics and provide inclusive and targeted outreach in partnership with local and community organizations.

A copy of the emergency proclamation can be found here.

Last month, California public health officials urged federal partners make more vaccine doses available to the state as quickly as possible so that the state can expand eligibility to confirmed and probable exposures, as well as those at high risk of contracting the virus. Nowadays, the state has distributed more than 25,000 doses of vaccine and will do additional endowments in the days and weeks to come. Los Angeles County received a separate allocation of vaccines. In total, the state received more than 61,000 doses. The state also supports overall immunization efforts in collaboration with locals, including helping provide staff and mobile clinics. The state allocates doses to local health departments based on a number of factors, including the number of reported cases of monkeypox in an area and estimated at-risk populations.

As of July 28, the state had expanded its testing capacity to process more than 1,000 tests per week. State public health laboratory officials have worked with local public health, academic and commercial laboratories to ensure testing capacity is increasingly available and coordinated with the public health response. The CDPH also expands treatment options. Access to the prescription antiviral drug tecovirimat (TPOXX) used to treat monkeypox is limited, but the treatment can now be administered at more than 30 facilities and providers across the state.

The state continues its outreach and education efforts to educate Californians about monkeypox and ways to limit its spread. The state hosted several webinars for local health departments, community organizations, and other healthcare providers and attended various town halls and community meetings to speak and hear from the public and local leaders. CDPH also schedules listening sessions with the LGBTQ community. CDPH is currently running paid advertising campaigns on various digital media platforms to raise awareness and engage communities most at risk of contracting monkeypox.

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