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Hochul announces new SMS-text effort to deliver latest monkeypox information to New Yorkers


Fri, Jul 15th 2022 12:20 pm

Text MONKEYPOX to 81336 or MONKEYPOXESP for Spanish

√ Opt-in for location-based alerts; learn more at health.ny.gov/monkeypox

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a new SMS-text notification effort to deliver the latest monkeypox information directly to New Yorkers. Her team said this is the newest component of New York state's ongoing monkeypox response.

New Yorkers can sign up for text messages – which will include alerts about cases, symptoms, spread, and resources for testing and vaccination – by texting MONKEYPOX to 81336 or MONKEYPOXESP for texts in Spanish. By providing a ZIP code, New Yorkers can also opt-in for location-based messages.

"We are building on our ongoing response efforts to bring the latest monkeypox information, tools and resources directly to New Yorkers," Hochul said. "As we continue to work with the federal government to press for more vaccines, I urge New Yorkers to sign-up for these important alerts and stay informed with monkeypox updates in your community."

The new SMS campaign is designed to alert New Yorkers to pertinent information about monkeypox, so they have protective public health facts and resources at their disposal. Messages will span information about how monkeypox presents and transmits, as well as what New Yorkers should do following exposure.

Information about how to sign-up for the text message campaign will be distributed through social media, constituent engagement, community-based organizations, and the state's Excelsior Pass platform.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said, "In public health, information is one of our most valuable tools. This innovative campaign, which provides texts in both English and Spanish, will help get education and resources directly to New Yorkers – expanding access to updates about monkeypox and availability of vaccines and care. I encourage everyone to sign-up for these alerts, and to stay up to date about the best ways we can all protect ourselves and mitigate spread in our communities."

Hochul’s team said, “New York state continues to work closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's monkeypox response team on vaccine distribution plans to ensure New York state receives its fair share of vaccine supply as soon they are available to protect New Yorkers, especially for those New Yorkers in communities with high transmission rates. Gov. Hochul recently spoke with Dr. Ashish Jha and Dr. Raj Panjabi of the White House to secure additional vaccine doses to meet the needs of New Yorkers.

“(This) announcement builds on the New York State Department of Health's ongoing public outreach efforts on monkeypox, including recently launching a paid, digital advertising campaign to get information to communities experiencing higher rates of monkeypox cases, including gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men.”

NYSDOH's dedicated website, which stays updated with the latest information, has free, downloadable materials, including a palm card, information card, handout, and posters available in both English and Spanish. NYSDOH has already distributed these resources to LGBTQ+ organizations, local county health departments, health care providers, and businesses. The posters will be on display at congregate settings statewide, including health care centers, mass-transit hubs, parks, rest stops, restaurants, bars and nightclubs.

In addition to public outreach, the New York State Department of Health continues to focus on distributing vaccines to communities. On July 12, NYSDOH announced its second allocation of the JYNNEOS vaccine from the federal government.

Hochul’s team said, “This supply remains limited, and New York state has been aggressively working with the federal government to convey that more supply is urgently needed to meet the preventive needs for New York residents. Local county health departments that have received supply are administering the vaccine directly and establishing their own appointment processes. Working in partnership with counties, New Yorkers who sign-up for location-based alerts may receive alerts on vaccine availability, clinic locations, scheduling and other monkeypox-related updates specific to their area.”

Earlier this week, NYSDOH, in partnership with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, hosted a monkeypox town hall for community leaders led by Bassett and City Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan.

NYSDOH continues to provide information and support for health care providers and local county health departments, including guidance on case testing and reporting. New York state has capacity for testing and, because of efforts to expand capacity, testing is also now available at LabCorp, Mayo Clinic and Aegis Sciences Corp., and will soon be available at two other national laboratories, including Quest Diagnostics Nichols Institute and Sonic Healthcare.

For more information about monkeypox, visit health.ny.gov/monkeypox.

New Yorkers can learn more about New York state's first vaccine allocation from the federal government here and the second allocation here.

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