Monday, March 20, 2023

Who is Eligible for and How to Get the Monkeypox Vaccine

How to Get the Vaccine

Currently, the Virginia Beach Department of Health is the only source for the vaccine in Hampton Roads.

There are two ways to schedule a vaccine appointment:

  • Call the Virginia Beach Department of Health at 757-518-2700 and press Option 5. In most cases, you will be prompted to leave a message with your contact information. A nurse will call you back within two working days to schedule an appointment at the VBDH location. You can also call this number to schedule an appointment for any of the remote vaccination clinics taking place around Hampton Roads, such as the one scheduled at The Wave this Saturday.
  • Register for the vaccine at the VDH’s online portal.

Who is Eligible for the Vaccine

At present, the monkeypox vaccine is only recommended for individuals who have been exposed or are at high risk of exposure to the monkeypox virus. If either of these situations applies to you, contact your local health department to see if you are eligible for vaccination.

Individuals who may have been exposed to monkeypox virus are being contacted by their local health department through case investigations. Currently, local health departments are working through existing networks to identify those who may be eligible to offer appointments to ensure prompt distribution of the vaccine to the most vulnerable in Virginia.

For Those with Known Exposure

In Virginia, a two-dose series of a monkeypox vaccine (JYNNEOS) is recommended and available for individuals who

  • Have been exposed to a person diagnosed with monkeypox during their infection
  • Know that a sexual partner in the past 2 weeks was diagnosed with monkeypox

For Those at High Risk of Exposure:

In Virginia, a two-dose series of a monkeypox vaccine (JYNNEOS) is recommended and available for individuals who identify with any of the following groups:

  • All people, of any sexual orientation or gender, who have had anonymous or multiple (more than 1) sexual partners in the last 2 weeks
  • Sex workers (of any sexual orientation or gender)
  • Staff (of any sexual orientation or gender) at establishments where sexual activity occurs (such as bathhouses, sex clubs)

You should still continue to take precautions after vaccination. The JYNNEOS vaccine is given in two-doses with 28 days between doses. You are considered protected 14 days after your second dose (about 6 weeks after your first dose). You should continue to take precautions against monkeypox between doses.

We don’t know if JYNNEOS will fully protect against monkeypox virus infection in this outbreak, so infections may occur even if you are vaccinated. If you want to reduce your risk, keep taking preventative measures after being vaccinated.

For more information on Monkeypox, visit the VDH Resource Center.

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