Monkeypox Vaccinations Have Begun in Mass.: Here's How to Get One

People who are eligible to get a vaccination at one of the clinics offering them, in Boston and Provincetown, include "Known contacts identified by public health via case investigation, contact tracing, and risk exposure assessments," according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health

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Monkeypox vaccines are being offered at four clinics across Massachusetts, though not just anyone will be able to get one right away.

There are eligibility requirements set up by the state's Department of Public Health that limit who can get vaccinated, at least for now.

The first vaccines became available in Massachusetts this week; people in New York City have been available to get vaccinated since last week, though the number of walk-ins overwhelmed capacity when they first opened up.

It's the busiest time of the year in one of the busiest spots on Cape Cod, and amid all the fun in Provincetown, there's growing worry about the spread of monkeypox and what it could mean for seasonal workers.

Massachusetts has reported 31 cases of monkeypox, 10 of which were announced Thursday afternoon. Other cases have been announced in surrounded states, including New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York.

The rare virus causes flu-like symptoms and a skin rash; it hasn't been connected to any deaths in the United States or worldwide this year. Monkeypox spreads through close contact, often from people's skin touching, and the population of men who have sex with men —and their sexual partners — is considered to make up a large number of cases in this outbreak.

Where to get a monkeypox vaccine in Mass.

The four local clinics currently offering the monkeypox vaccine are the following, according to Massachusetts' monkeypox vaccine site:

Symptoms take 7-14 days to show, but can take up to 21 days to show

Who is eligible for the monkeypox vaccine in Mass.?

The Department of Public Health lists the requirements for getting monkeypox vaccine as:

  • Known contacts identified by public health via case investigation, contact tracing, and risk exposure assessments (this may include sexual partners, household contacts, and healthcare workers); as well as
  • Presumed contacts who meet the following criteria:
    • Know that a sexual partner in the past 14 days was diagnosed with monkeypox
    • Had multiple sexual partners in the past 14 days in a jurisdiction with known monkeypox

More people may become eligible when more vaccine doses are shipped to Massachusetts, officials say.

What vaccine is available for monkeypox?

People who getting vaccinated will get two shots of the Jynneos vaccine, also known as Imvamune or Imvanex, health officials say. The second dose is given 28 days after the first shot, and people are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after getting the second dose.

Massachusetts received its first shipment of the vaccine, with 2,004 doses, on Tuesday. "More vaccine is expected to become available in coming weeks," officials note.

Nevertheless, anyone who is vaccinated is still urged to avoid skin-to-skin contact with someone infected with monkeypox. And officials urged people to be aware that appointments are limited, at least for now.

"Please be aware that there is currently a limited supply of JYNNEOS, and vaccination is prioritized for individuals at highest risk of exposure to someone with monkeypox," the state's monkeypox vaccine site says.

The CDC has said it's releasing about 300,000 doses of the vaccine within the next few weeks, with more than 1 million following that in the next few months.

Monkeypox doesn’t spread as easily as COVID; it’s much more easier to identify close contacts and vaccinate them
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