(WJW) – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services began shipping doses of monkeypox vaccines this week.

The Ohio Department of Health said it is advocating for more vaccines across the Buckeye State.

There are 116 monkeypox cases in Ohio, which is low compared to some other states with more than 1,000 cases, according to CDC numbers.

While many cases have been in metro areas like Cleveland, Columbus and Akron, Carroll County reported its first cases Tuesday.

Cleveland Public Health said Wednesday the city had 35 cases.

“This is simply not enough supply to vaccinate all at-risk Ohioans,” Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said last week. “Therefore, our strategy in the face of these national limitations has been to get available supply out as quickly as possible to Ohio communities with the highest case counts and the highest risk for spread.”


Due to the limited supply, Summit County Public Health has started a waitlist for the vaccine.

Here’s how they’re handling priority:

  • Tier 1 – People with high exposure risk or direct exposures
  • Tier 2- Attendees at events with known monkeypox transmission
  • Tier 3 – Individuals likely to have prolonged intimate contact that would put them at higher risk of exposure
  • Nationally or locally identified groups with high risk of exposure

Summit County has opened a registration list for people to get notified when the vaccine is available.

How it spreads

Monkeypox spreads through close skin-to-skin contact, like hugging and kissing, as well as by sharing bed sheets, towels and clothes. It can also spread via respiratory droplets during close and prolonged face-to-face contact. The CDC has said 99% of U.S. monkeypox cases are among men, and 94% of cases are men who had intimate or sexual contact with other men, Vanderhoff said.

Symptoms include fever, body aches, chills, fatigue and pimple-like bumps on many parts of the body, often starting near the genitals.

Does a smallpox vaccine protect against monkeypox?

According to the CDC, a previous smallpox vaccination provides some protection against monkeypox, although that protection wanes over time. Experts advise that anyone who had the smallpox vaccine more than three years ago and is at increased risk for monkeypox should get the monkeypox vaccine.