Mecklenburg County Public Health offering monkeypox vaccine starting Wednesday

The vaccine will be offered to high-risk individuals.
The vaccine can prevent illness or lead to less severe symptoms if given within two weeks after someone is exposed to monkeypox.
Published: Jul. 12, 2022 at 10:50 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Mecklenburg County Public Health will start providing the Jynneos (monkeypox) vaccine Wednesday, July 13, the department announced Tuesday.

The vaccine can prevent illness or lead to less severe symptoms if given within two weeks after someone is exposed to monkeypox.

RELATED: Health officials confirm first case of monkeypox in N.C.

It will be offered to individuals who self-identify as high risk and meet the following criteria:

  • An individual who has been in close physical contact in the past 14 days with someone diagnosed with monkeypox, or
  • An individual who knows their sexual partner was diagnosed with monkeypox, or
  • Men who have sex with men, or transgender individuals, who have had multiple or anonymous sex partners in the last 14 days in either a venue where monkeypox was present or in an area where the virus is spreading. Currently, this includes several locations in Europe and parts of the following U.S. jurisdictions: California, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, and Texas.

Updated global and U.S. case numbers are posted on the CDC website.

“While monkeypox poses minimal risk to most people, we are working to offer vaccines to those at the highest risk,” said Dr. Raynard Washington, MCPH Director, in the announcement. “This allows us to maximize the very limited supply of vaccine that is currently available and reach those who are most vulnerable to the current outbreak.”

Monkeypox is transmitted person to person through direct skin-to-skin contact, having contact with an infectious rash, through body fluids or through respiratory secretions. Such contact often occurs during prolonged, face-to-face contact or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling or sex. While anyone can get monkeypox, in the current U.S. outbreak, many of the cases are in men who have sex with men.

People can take basic steps to prevent the spread of monkeypox. If you have an unexplained rash, sores or other symptoms, see your health care provider — if you don’t have a provider or health insurance, visit a public health clinic near you. Keep the rash covered and avoid sex or being intimate with anyone until you have been checked out. Standard household cleaners and detergents are effective at cleaning environmental surfaces and linens.

Monkeypox vaccines are free. Individuals who believe they are at high-risk can schedule an appointment online or call 980-314-9400.

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