A national shortage of monkeypox vaccines is causing concern among DMV residents as case numbers continue to rise.
Presently, DC residents have been hit with the highest number of monkeypox cases per capita, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but with limited vaccine availability — 2.5 million additional doses were ordered in July — clinics have had to enforce eligibility requirements to distribute doses to those considered most at risk.
That criteria in Virginia includes individuals 18 and over who have been in contact with someone who has monkeypox, as well as those who have engaged in sexual activity with anyone who has received the diagnosis.
Vaccine appointments, meanwhile, are being made available only to those Virginians who have submitted an online Monkeypox Vaccine Interest Survey and meet select criteria. Appointment availability is expected to evolve as vaccines continue to be made more readily available.
According to the Virginia Health Department, eligibility requirements include:
- Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men and have had multiple or anonymous sexual partners
- Transgender women and non-binary persons assigned male at birth who have sex with men and have had multiple or anonymous sexual partners
- Sex workers of any sexual orientation or gender
- Staff of any sexual orientation or gender at establishments where sexual activity occurs
- Persons of any sexual orientation or gender who attend sex-on-premises venues
Those seeking vaccinations are encouraged to talk to their health provider about potential side effects before doing scheduling an appointment.
To learn more about monkeypox cases in Virginia, visit the Virginia Department of Health’s Monkeypox information page.
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