Update on monkeypox vaccine distribution in King County – INSIDE PUBLIC HEALTH

King County received our latest vaccination on August 5th. Here is a brief explanation to answer questions about what is planned for these doses.

How many vaccine doses has King County received and distributed?

We have received a total of 9,160 monkeypox vaccines from the Washington State Department of Health (including 4,440 that arrived on Friday 8/5).

The 4720 we received by 8/5 is already fully distributed.

We are delivering the vaccine to the community for the 4,440 doses we received on Friday, but it will take some time to transfer all the vaccine. We coordinate with providers to assess how many vaccines they need.

Where will this next dose distribution go?

With such a low supply, we distribute the vaccine using multiple strategies to reach people at high risk of eventual exposure, including reaching people with increased barriers to obtaining the vaccine.

Anyone in close contact with a monkeypox patient is at risk. To date, all of the people diagnosed with monkeypox in King County have been among men* who reported close intimate relationships with other men, sometimes with anonymous partners. *This includes people who may identify as non-binary, gender queer, or transgender.

About one-third of the doses will be given to providers who already serve people at high risk, based on the epidemiology of existing cases. Another third of the doses will go to the Sexual Health Clinic in Harborview. In addition, we facilitate additional community access points for those living in other areas of the county, as well as those with less access, especially on weekends when our Sexual Health Clinic is closed. We work with healthcare partners, community-based organizations and businesses serving the highest-risk people in society to create these access points.

We reserve 100 doses for post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to treat high-risk exposed people. We also reserve some doses for unexpected needs, such as if there is an environment that could have a wide impact, such as a shelter.

When are you having your next vaccinations?

Now that we have the doses in hand, we are planning more vaccine access points, such as health partners who can accept walk-ins, vaccinate in the evenings and weekends, and hold vaccination events in secure locations.

Our aim will be to achieve the following:

  • People at high risk who may face barriers to getting care at other providers, especially men who have sex with men with multiple partners.
  • Communities disproportionately affected by the current epidemic.
  • The county areas where current work is concentrated also provide a presence in King County. Most of the cases identified to date have been located in downtown Seattle.
  • People with less access to health care: Public Health will prioritize vaccine availability for people with less access to care, including those who are uninsured, undocumented, or homeless.

These measures will be implemented over the next few weeks. Our partners will lead the promotion of these events, using targeted outreach to reach people at higher risk.

Given the number of monkeypox cases we have, does King County advocate more vaccinations?

Local health departments cannot request a dose. Instead, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) uses a formula based on incidence rates and estimated high-risk populations to determine allocations to local health departments.

The DOH uses the same formula that the CDC uses to determine the amount of vaccine allocated to each state.

When are more vaccines on the way?

We heard that we should expect the next allocation in the week of August 15thcAn estimated 4,000 to 5,000 doses will then be delivered to King County.

Apparently, the Washington state allocation is about 24,000 doses, but 12,850 doses are required. What is the discrepancy?

The Washington State Department of Health leads the distribution of doses from the CDC to local jurisdictions like ours – Seattle & King County.

Information on the federal website shows “allocated doses” to states, but that doesn’t mean all vaccines can be ordered yet. States may order only a portion of the doses before the next order date.

Locally, we will receive more doses once the CDC orders and distributes the doses.


We will continue to provide updates on vaccine allocations on our Public Health Insider blog. You can see our previous updates with more details on vaccine distribution in our previous blog.

You can check our monkeypox vaccine webpage for vaccine eligibility criteria. Check our website for the latest cases of monkeypox and information on symptoms and care.

Originally published on 8/9/2022

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