Monkeypox vaccines, including second doses, available at upcoming Alexandria vaccination events

(Matt Damon / Kentucky National Guard via MGN)
Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 4:10 PM CDT
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(LDH) - The Louisiana Department of Health’s Office of Public Health will offer monkeypox vaccines, including second doses, at events in Alexandria (Region 6) starting this week. These events are centered around providing care for those experiencing homelessness, but they are open to the public.

CDC recommends that individuals receive the second dose of the monkeypox vaccine within 24-35 days of the first dose. Conveniently, the COVID-19 vaccine and the updated Pfizer (authorized for people ages 12 and up) and Moderna (authorized for people ages 18 and up) COVID-19 bivalent boosters will be available, too.

Partners are hosting events at the following times and locations. First and second monkeypox doses are available at all locations, in addition to the updated COVID-19 bivalent boosters.

  • VOA H2O Homeless Support Event, Thursday, September 22, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Emmanuel Baptist Church, 430 Jackson St., Alexandria
  • The Manna House, Monday, September 26, 11:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. 2655 Lee St., Alexandria
  • Homeless Coalition, Friday, September 30, 8 a.m. to noon, 1515 Jackson St., Alexandria

You do not need to get your first and second doses at the same location. Anyone who is due for a second dose can come to any of the above events, or find your second dose at a nearby provider location by visiting LDH’s monkeypox webpage at ldh.la.gov/monkeypox or by calling 211.

As of September 21, Louisiana has identified 239 cases of monkeypox in Louisiana residents since the start of the 2022 U.S. Monkeypox Outbreak.

Monkeypox Vaccine Eligibility

As of August 31, 2022, the expanded criteria for vaccination include people in Louisiana who meet one of the following:

  • Gay/bisexual men or transgender people who are sexually active with more than one partner
  • Anyone who is at high risk of monkeypox exposure. This includes but is not limited to people who:
    • Are HIV positive or receive medicines to prevent HIV infection (PrEP)
    • Are experiencing homelessness
    • Use IV drugs
    • Give or receive money or other goods in exchange for sex
    • Have significant, skin-to-skin contact with others in a social or sexual venue
    • Work at establishments where sexual or intimate activity occurs (e.g., bathhouses, saunas, sex clubs, hotels)
  • Clinicians or laboratory staff who are at high risk of occupational exposure
  • Anyone who has been determined to be at high risk by a healthcare provider or public health official

While not new, monkeypox is a potentially serious viral illness caused by a virus not commonly seen in the United States, that is spread through close physical contact. The disease can make you sick, including a possibly painful rash, which may look like bumps on your skin, blisters or ulcers. Some people have a flu-like illness before they develop a rash.

According to CDC, early data suggest that gay, bisexual, same-gender-loving, and other men who have sex with men make up a high number of cases. However, anyone who has been in close, personal contact with someone who has monkeypox can be infected, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Monkeypox Guidance

Testing for monkeypox is now widely available. If you have symptoms and would like to be tested for monkeypox, contact your healthcare provider. Anyone without a provider or insurance can also be tested at their local parish health unit or community clinic: ldh.la.gov/phu

If your test for monkeypox is positive, stay isolated until your rash has healed, all scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of intact skin has formed.