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Georgia counties try to keep up with the monkeypox vaccine demand

Multiple health departments tell 11Alive they're waiting to get more doses from the state before making appointments available.

ATLANTA — Keith Metoyer says he's been trying to get an appointment for a monkeypox vaccine for more than two weeks. The Cobb County resident says he's been looking at social media points from health departments in neighboring counties to see if he can find a slot. 

"I reached out to Cobb and Douglas County Department of Health. They were only treating people that currently are showing symptoms of monkeypox," he told 11Alive's Karys Belger Wednesday. 

Metoyer was finally able to get an appointment in Fulton County Tuesday. He said that waiting to get the appointment was a challenge. 

"Six p.m. came and it's almost as soon as you click the link to get an appointment like all the appointments were taken, like instantaneously. So, you know, and on Twitter, I was like basically harassing them like, 'Well, please, you know, if someone, you know, misses their appointment, you know, can you let us know, was there going to be some kind of like overflow list or something like that?'" he asked. 

Metoyer is one of the countless people who have tried to get an appointment for a Monkeypox Vaccine over the last few weeks. Health Departments across metro Atlanta tell 11Alive the viability of the vaccine has prevented them from making more appointments available. 

Previously, 11Alive reported on the quick response of Fulton and DeKalb County officials have seen when first making appointments available to the public. 

As of  Wednesday, Georgia had the 6th highest rate of monkeypox cases in the U.S. with 504 cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Cases with higher case counts such as New York and Illinois have declared public health emergencies to address the rising number of cases. 

State response 

A representative with the Georgia State Department of Health told 11Alive that testing and vaccination are available in every health district throughout the state. Vaccines are also being distributed to specific health organizations. 

Five commercial laboratories are offering monkeypox testing in Georgia.

11Alive also reached out to the Office of Governor Brian Kemp. A representative sent a statement saying 34,000 doses are expected in the coming weeks. 

The statement said in part: 

"DPH and state health experts regularly update the governor on the monkeypox spread, and members of his administration constantly monitor the number of cases, any discernable patterns or trends in those cases, and any associated needs. If and when those medical experts and healthcare professionals identify a new issue related to the spread of monkeypox that is not already addressed by the current State of Emergency Order, we will evaluate further action and if a new State of Emergency is needed."

Clayton County 

Clayton County had three clinics scheduled for Aug. 3- Aug. 5. As of Wednesday at 1 p.m, 32 doses had been distributed. A representative with the Clayton County Health District said close to 200 doses will be distributed next week. 

Everyone hoping to get the vaccine will have to make an appointment. 

Fulton County 

A representative with the Fulton County Board of Health said 1,600 doses of the vaccine have been distributed so far, with a focus on giving vaccines to the populations that are impacted the most. 

The county could not tell how many doses would be distributed in the future. The JYNNEOS vaccine that is being distributed is also a smallpox vaccine. 

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