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Monkeypox vaccines continue to be administered throughout Colorado

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COLORADO. (KRDO) -- High-risk individuals are getting the vaccine for Monkeypox to prevent the spread in Colorado.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has been using its limited supply of federal vaccines, administering about 250 vaccinations to Coloradans currently at higher risk of exposure to monkeypox.

The CDPHE will have three additional vaccine clinics next week for Coloradans who meet specific high-risk criteria because of additional doses of the vaccine obtained from the national stockpile. Three hundred more doses are set to be administered.

Appointments on July 5, 8, and 9 are available for Coloradans who meet the specific screening criteria. These vaccines are available to men aged 18 years and older who are gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men who have had multiple or anonymous sex partners in the last 14 days. Anyone who believes they have been in close contact with someone who has monkeypox in the last 14 days is also eligible for the vaccine. The criteria is aligned with CDC guidelines, according to CDPHE.

“We continue to work closely with our partners in the federal government to obtain more vaccines in the coming weeks,” said Scott Bookman, Director, Division of Disease Control and Public Health Response “We will continue to use the supply we have on hand as we get it from the federal government. We aren’t delaying as now is the time to prevent the spread of monkeypox.”

The CDPHE is working to get more doses as well. According to the CDPHE, the federal government is allocating vaccines by state based on population and prevalence of monkeypox.

The CDPHE says anyone can get monkeypox through close contact with someone who has the virus. At this time, epidemiological data on recent cases suggest there is a heightened risk for men who are gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men who have recently had multiple or anonymous sex partners. 

The CDPHE warns that Monkeypox may begin with flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, and exhaustion. Monkeypox can look like syphilis, herpes, blisters, or even acne. In recent cases, additional symptoms have not always occurred before the rash or bumps if they have occurred at all.

The JYNNEOS vaccine is a fully FDA-approved two-dose vaccine, with doses given four weeks apart. The CDPHE will send information to people who received vaccinations regarding the timing of their second dose. The vaccine can help keep people from getting sick at all if they receive it within four days of exposure to the monkeypox virus. If they get the vaccine between four and 14 days after exposure, it can help prevent severe illness but may not completely prevent infection, according to the CDPHE.

The CDPHE advises that Coloradans should contact a health care provider and avoid physical contact with others if they think they have been exposed to monkeypox or are experiencing symptoms. For more information, click here.

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Emily Arseneau

Emily is a Digital Content Producer for KRDO. Learn more about her here.

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