Mr. Jackson. – Today, the Mississippi State Health Department (MSDH) announced that it has expanded the eligibility of the monkeypox vaccine to reduce the spread of monkeypox in Mississippi. Mississippians with certain risk factors and experiences that make them more likely to have been exposed to monkeypox can now be considered for vaccination.
The vaccine is available by appointment only at health department clinics in Lee, Panora, Lefleur, Lowndes, Lauderdale, Adams, Hines, Forrest and Harrison counties.
As of today, 11 cases of monkeypox have been confirmed among Mississippi residents. The number of cases is expected to continue to increase. More than 10,000 cases have been confirmed nationwide.
In the United States, most cases occur among individuals who report sexual contact between men.
“Anyone exposed to monkeypox through close person-to-person or intimate contact can become infected, but most cases seen in this outbreak are gay, bisexual, or have sex with men. males.” state epidemiologist Paul Byers, Ph.D.
In Mississippi, monkeypox vaccination is rarely available. A two-dose vaccine is being offered to those at highest risk of potential monkeypox exposure, in addition to vaccination for those known to have been in contact with cases identified in the MSDH investigation. .
Individuals over the age of 18 are eligible to be vaccinated if:
- have been notified of or are aware of any close intimate or sexual contact with a person diagnosed with monkeypox, or
- Identify and report gay, bisexual, transgender, or other men who have sex with men
- had multiple or anonymous sex partners, or
- Attending an event or venue where monkeypox may have been transmitted (for example, through immediate skin contact or sexual activity).
Vaccinations are available for those who meet the above conditions. These criteria will be re-evaluated to expand eligibility as more vaccines become available in the coming weeks.
Call the Monkeypox Call Center at 1-877-978-6453 to verify eligibility and make an appointment for vaccination at a participating health department clinic. Reservations can only be made through the call center.
If you are at risk of monkeypox, you can prevent infection by avoiding skin-to-skin contact and close contact with a potentially infected person. If you are eligible, you should be vaccinated. If you develop a new or unexplained rash, especially if you have been in close contact with a monkeypox patient, isolate yourself at home and contact your healthcare provider for testing.
For more information on monkeypox, visit HealthyMS.com/monkeypox.
Follow MSDH via email and social media at HealthyMS.com/connect.
press contact: MSDH Communications Department, (601) 576-7667
Note to media: After hours or in an emergency, call (601) 576-7400