There are limited and targeted vaccines to prevent monkeypox
August 9, 2022
According to the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH), vaccines intended to help prevent monkeypox are now available on a limited and targeted basis throughout the state.
Public health experts are tracking an outbreak of monkeypox that has spread to several countries that don’t normally report the disease, including the United States. No cases related to this outbreak have yet been identified among Wyoming residents.
Dr. Alexia Harrist, state health officer and state epidemiologist with WDH, said monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. “This disease is usually characterized by a rash and may also include other symptoms such as fever, chills, headache, muscle aches and fatigue,” she said.
Harrist noted that monkeypox is rarely fatal, but it can be uncomfortable and painful and can cause serious illness in some people.
“Monkeypox can spread to anyone through close personal contact,” she said. “Thankfully, it doesn’t spread as easily as known viruses like the flu or COVID-19.”
“We’re recommending vaccination for people who have been exposed to monkeypox and also for people who may be more likely to get monkeypox based on the current outbreak and how it’s spread,” Harrist said. “While anyone can get monkeypox, vaccine availability is limited at this point to those people who are at highest risk due to limited supplies.”
The following adults are eligible for pre-exposure vaccination if they live or work in Wyoming:
- Men who have sex with men and who have had multiple or anonymous sexual partners in the past year
- Partners of men who have sex with men who have had multiple or anonymous sexual partners in the past year
- Transgender and non-binary people assigned male at birth who have sex with multiple or anonymous sexual partners who are male or assigned male at birth within the past year
- Sex workers (of any sex)
Vaccinations will begin the week of August 15. Eligible adults interested in vaccination appointments should contact their local public health office. A list of public health offices by county can be found at https://health.wyo.gov/publichealth/nursing/phn-co-offices/. People can also call WDH at 307-777-6004 for help finding the nearest local public health office.
While available doses of monkeypox vaccine are provided by the federal government through the state free of charge, a small administration fee may be charged.
Monkeypox is related to smallpox with similar but milder symptoms. Monkeypox is not related to chickenpox.
More information and updates about Wyoming about monkeypox can be found at
Detailed facts, prevention recommendations, and data about the virus are available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/index.html.