Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (SBCPHD) reminds residents about the importance of receiving the two doses of Jynneos vaccine for optimal protection against Mpox (Monkeypox).

According to local data, only about half of Santa Barbara County residents who have received a first dose of Mpox vaccine is still in need of a second dose for the optimum level of vaccination.

As the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) continues to monitor Mpox, it has recently detected one positive wastewater sample for Mpox in several California cities, including Santa Barbara.

“The single positive finding of Mpox in Santa Barbara city’s wastewater in July does not mean that Mpox is spreading in our community,” said Dr. Henning Ansorg, Public Health officer. “So far Santa Barbara County has not had any confirmed cases in 2023.

“The best way to protect yourself is to get two doses of the Jynneos vaccine. We welcome you to attend our upcoming events offering free Mpox vaccinations,” Ansorg said.

Vaccination for Mpox is effective and important not just for you, but also for your partners, the Health Department said. Along with vaccination individuals can stop the spread of Mpox by doing the following.

  1. Being aware of, and talking to your sexual partner(s) about, any recent illness and new unexplained sores or rashes on your body or your partner’s body, especially on the genitals and on or around the anus.
  2. Avoiding close contact, including hugging, kissing, cuddling, and sexual activity with people who have symptoms, like sores or rashes. Visit the CDPH Mpox Q&A about ways to reduce your chances of being exposed if you are sexually active.
  3. Avoid sharing materials (e.g., towels, fetish gear, sex toys, and toothbrushes) with someone who has Mpox.
  4. Washing your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Free Jynneos vaccination against Mpox will be available at upcoming Back-to-School Health Fairs. No appointment is needed and vaccination for Mpox and COVID will be available.

The series of health fairs will be at the Santa Maria Health Care Center, 2115 Centerpointe Pkwy., Santa Maria, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 8; Santa Barbara Health Care Center, 345 Camino del Remedio, Santa Barbara, 4-7 p.m. Wednesday Aug. 9; and Lompoc Health Care Center, 301 North R St., Lompoc, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday Aug. 10.

For the most up-to-date information about monkeypox symptoms, prevention, vaccination opportunities, and seeking care in Santa Barbara County, visit the County Public Health Monkeypox webpage.