Monkeypox vaccine: Who can get it and how does it work?

FILE - A health professional prepares a dose of a Monkeypox vaccine at the Edison municipal vaccination centre in Paris Wednesday July 27, 2022. Public health officials warn that moves by rich countries to buy large quantities of monkeypox vaccine, while declining to share doses with Africa, could leave millions of people unprotected against a more dangerous version of the disease and risk continued spillovers of the virus into humans. (Alain Jocard, Pool via AP, FIle) (Alain Jocard, AFP or licensors)

HOUSTON – Although the Monkeypox vaccine is now available in Harris County and Houston, the supply is limited.

According to the Harris County Public Health Department and the Houston Health Department, the JYNNEOS vaccine will only be administered to eligible people at this time.

Who is eligible for the vaccine?

The health departments have split the eligible people up into two groups.

Group A will be by invitation only. It includes:

  • People confirmed by Public Health to have had high or intermediate-risk contact with someone with monkeypox
  • People who attended an event or venue where there was a high risk of exposure to someone with confirmed monkeypox virus through skin-to-skin or sexual contact

Group B will be for people who are 18 and older. It includes:

  • People who were diagnosed with gonorrhea or early syphilis within the past three months
  • People who are on HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)
  • People who attended or worked at a commercial sex venue or other venues where they had anonymous sex or sex with multiple partners (example: saunas, bathhouses, sex clubs, sex parties) within the past 21 days

If eligible, how do you get the monkeypox vaccine?

Those eligible can contact their doctor or healthcare provider to find out if they are a monkeypox vaccine provider. If they are a vaccine provider, people can ask to get vaccinated.

Eligible people who visit a public monkeypox vaccine location with their ID must also provide the following information:

  • Proof of gonorrhea or early syphilis infection in the last three months in the form of a lab report (proof can be shown from the phone, including a screenshot of the result or within a patient portal)
  • A monkeypox provider attestation form completed by your doctor (these attestations forms would be provided by a doctor if the patient meets the eligibility requirements but the doctor’s office is not a monkeypox vaccine provider)

Anyone needing registration assistance can contact the Houston Health Department Call Center at 832.393.4220 or the Harris County Public Health Hotline at 832.927.0707.


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