Monkeypox vaccine eligibility expands; mobile clinics come to Aurora

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AURORA | The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced Tuesday it is changing monkeypox vaccination eligibility criteria to allow more protection to people at high-risk of contracting the virus. 

People who now qualify for the vaccine, which has been sometimes in short supply across Colorado and the nation, include: 

  • Anyone of any sexual orientation or gender identity who has had close physical contact with somebody who tested positive for monkeypox within the last two weeks.
  • Anyone who has multiple or anonymous sexual partners. 
  • Anyone who has close physical contact with other people in a venue where anonymous or group sex may occur.
  • People diagnosed with gonorrhea or syphilis in the past six months.
  • People living with HIV or are eligible for HIV PrEP. 
  • People who engage in commercial or transactional sex. 

The state reports 290 cases so far this year, 31 in Arapahoe County and 41 in Adams County.  There have been nine hospitalizations from the virus and zero deaths.

CDPHE state epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy said in a statement the eligibility expansion comes as the state monitors vaccine supply and demand and adjusts accordingly. 

“This eligibility expansion allows Coloradans to proactively protect themselves and their communities by getting vaccinated before potential exposures, rather than only after a known exposure,” she said.

Monkeypox vaccines are available at some state-run mobile vaccine clinics, including in Aurora: 

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Community College of Aurora- Lowry Campus

710 Alton Ave., Denver, CO 80230

9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

https://www.comassvax.org//appointment/en/reg/3661203592

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Community College of Aurora- Lowry Campus

710 Alton Ave., Denver, CO 80230

9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

https://www.comassvax.org//appointment/en/reg/2313296039

Monkeypox symptoms may include fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness and swollen lymph nodes in the beginning. The virus can also look like some other sexually transmitted diseases, such as syphilis and herpes. 

Those who suspect they’ve contracted monkeypox or been exposed to it should contact a health care provider and avoid physical contact with others. 

 

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