JACKSON, Miss. – Today the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) announces expanded eligibility for the monkeypox vaccine to reduce the spread of monkeypox in Mississippi. Mississippians with certain risk factors and experiences that make them more likely to have been exposed to monkeypox may now be considered for vaccination.
The vaccine is available by appointment only at county health department clinics in each of the following counties: Lee, Panola, Leflore, Lowndes, Lauderdale, Adams, Hinds, Forrest and Harrison counties.
To date, 11 cases of monkeypox have been identified among Mississippi residents. The number of cases is expected to continue to increase. Nationwide, more than 10,000 cases have been identified.
In the United States, most cases have been among individuals reporting male-to-male sexual contact.
“While anyone exposed to monkeypox through close person-to-person contact or intimate contact can become infected, the majority of cases seen in this outbreak are among individuals who are gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men”, he said. State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers.
Very few doses of monkeypox vaccine have been received in Mississippi. The two-dose vaccine is now being made available to those at higher risk for possible exposure to monkeypox, in addition to vaccination of those with known contact with cases identified through MSDH investigations.
Individuals 18 years of age or older may be eligible for vaccination if:
- You have been notified or are aware of close intimate or sexual contact with someone diagnosed with monkeypox, OR
- Identify as gay, bisexual, transgender, or other men who have sex with men who report
- Having multiple or anonymous sexual partners, OR
- Having attended an event or location where monkeypox may have been transmitted (for example, by skin-to-skin contact or sex in the location).
Vaccination appointments are available for those who meet the above criteria. These criteria will be reevaluated to expand eligibility as more vaccine becomes available in the coming weeks.
Please call the Monkeypox call center at 1-877-978-6453 to determine your eligibility and schedule a vaccination appointment at one of the health department’s participating clinics. Appointments can only be made through the call center.
If you are at risk of monkeypox, you can help prevent infection by avoiding close skin-to-skin contact or intimate contact with people who may be infected, and you should be vaccinated if you are eligible. If you have a new or unexplained rash, especially if you have been in close contact with someone who has monkeypox, isolate yourself at home and contact your healthcare provider for testing.
For more information on the monkey, visit HealthyMS.com/monkeypox.
Follow MSDH by email and social media at HealthyMS.com/connect.
Press Contact: MSDH Office of Communications, (601) 576-7667
Note to the media: After hours or during emergencies, call (601) 576-7400