Monkeypox vaccine available in Mississippi for high-risk individuals
JACKSON, Miss. (WMC) - The Mississippi Department of Health (MSDH) announced on Thursday that high-risk Mississippians can now be considered for vaccination against monkeypox.
One day prior, the Tennessee Department of Health announced the same.
The vaccine is available by appointment only at county health department clinics in each of the following counties: Lee, Panola, Leflore, Lowndes, Lauderdale, Adams, Hinds, Forrest, and Harrison.
As of Thursday, August 11, 11 monkeypox cases have been confirmed among Mississippi residents. The number of cases is expected to rise.
Nationwide, over 100,000 cases have been confirmed.
“While anyone who is exposed to monkeypox through close person-to-person or intimate contact may become infected, most of the cases being seen in this outbreak are among individuals who are gay, bisexual or other men who have sex with men,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers.
Very few doses of the monkeypox vaccine have been received in Mississippi. The two-dose vaccine is now being made available to those at highest risk for potential exposure to monkeypox, in addition to vaccination of those with known contact to cases identified through MSDH investigations.
Individuals aged 18 years or older may be eligible for vaccination if they:
- Have been notified or are aware of close intimate or sexual contact with someone diagnosed with monkeypox, OR
- Identify as gay, bisexual, transgender, or as a man who has sex with other men, who report:
- Having had multiple or anonymous sex partners, OR
- Having attended an event or venue where monkeypox may have been transmitted (for example, by skin-to-skin contact or sex on-site).
These criteria will be reevaluated to expand eligibility as more vaccines become available in the coming weeks.
Please call the Monkeypox Call Center at 1-877-978-6453 to determine your eligibility and a make vaccination appointment at one of the participating health department clinics. Appointments can only be made through the call center.
If you are at risk for monkeypox, you can help prevent infection by avoiding close skin-to-skin or intimate contact with people who may be infected, and you should be vaccinated if you are eligible.
If you develop a new or unexplained rash, especially if you have been in close contact with someone who has monkeypox, isolate yourself at home and contact your healthcare provider for testing.
For more information on monkeypox, click here.
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