There is expanded eligibility for people recommended to receive the monkeypox vaccine, the Mississippi State Department of Health announced Friday. The updated eligibility criteria aim to provide broader access to those identified as being most at risk of infection.
As of September 8, 45 cases of monkeypox have been reported in Mississippi. Although anyone exposed to someone with monkeypox is at risk of infection, most cases involve gay men, bisexual men and others who identify as men who have sex with men.
Of the total number of reported cases in Mississippi, 93% identify as male, 93% are African American, 67% are living with HIV, and the median age is 31.
People or more may be eligible for vaccination if they:
• have been told or are aware of close, intimate or sexual contact with someone diagnosed with monkeypox;
• identify as gay, bisexual or other men who have sex with men, or transgender;
• Having multiple or anonymous sexual partners;
• Attending events or places where monkeypox can be transmitted (for example, through skin-to-skin contact or on-site sexual relations);
• Living with HIV;
• Have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection within the previous 90 days.
Vaccination appointments are available for those who meet the above criteria. Those who are at high risk based on this eligibility are encouraged to take action and get vaccinated now, state health officials said.
The vaccine, a two-dose series, is available at nine designated county health department clinics. Call the Monkeypox call center at 1-877-978-6453 to determine eligibility and to schedule an immunization appointment at one of the participating health services clinics. Appointments can only be made through the call center.