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MSDH expands eligibility for monkeypox vaccine

monkeypox vaccine mississippi
Photo courtesy of Medscape

The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) has announced expanded eligibility for those recommended to receive the monkeypox vaccine to provide broader access for those most at risk to contract the virus.

As of Friday, there have been 48 reported monkeypox cases in Mississippi.

Of the total cases reported in Mississippi, 93 percent identify as male, 93 percent are African Americans, 67 percent are living with HIV, and the median age is 31.

Individuals 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.
  • Identify as gay, bisexual, or as other men who have sex with men, or are transgender individuals, and:
    • Have multiple or anonymous sex partners.
    • Attend events or venues where monkeypox may be transmitted (for example, by skin-to-skin contact or sex on-site).
    • Are living with HIV.
    • Have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the prior 90 days.

The vaccine, a two-dose series, is available at county health departments in Lee, Panola, Leflore, Lowndes, Lauderdale, Adams, Hinds, Forrest, and Harrison counties.

Individuals are encouraged to call the Monkeypox Call Center at 1-877-978-6453 to determine eligibility and to make a vaccination appointment. 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 at home and contact your healthcare provider for testing.

For more information on monkeypox in Mississippi, click here.

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