Monkeypox vaccine rolls out in Connecticut

Monday was the first day of the Monkeypox vaccine rollout in Connecticut.
Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 12:27 AM EDT
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HARTFORD, Conn. (WFSB) - Monday was the first day of the Monkeypox vaccine rollout in Connecticut.

Healthcare workers are saying some clinics have already run out of vaccines, and dozens of people are waitlisted.

According to the CDC, there are 35 confirmed cases of the virus in Connecticut. Health officials are saying that they expect those numbers to rise.

The Department of Public Health distributed 17,000 doses of the Monkeypox vaccine across 15 community-based clinics.

One clinic in Hamden says they received 50 doses, and they say people have already signed up to get them.

Channel 3′s Christian Colon spoke with one man who had the Monkeypox virus. For the past three weeks, Johnny Rivera has been on lockdown. Rivera says he experienced pain, blisters, headaches, and cramps.

“I got it from an anonymous hookup,” says Rivera. He says shortly after that encounter he started getting symptoms. Eventually they got worse.

Rivera is urging people to stick to one partner and avoid close contact with someone who has the virus.

Health officials also encourage the FDA-approved Jynneos vaccine, which could prevent infection and reduce symptoms.

“This vaccine is a two-dose vaccine. The two doses are given subcutaneously under the skin. They are given one month apart. Generally thought to be quite safe with minimal side effects aside from some pain at the injection site,” says Joseph Canarie, Medical Director of Anchor Health’s HIV Prevention & Treatment Program.

Canarie says interest in getting the vaccine, is still very strong.

“We had an overwhelming interest for the past two months, really since the outbreak began. Asking when we can get vaccines. We are not at all surprised in the interest. Hopefully we can meet that demand in the coming weeks,” says Canarie.

The Department of Public Health released what you need to know before you get the vaccine:

· The list of clinics can be found at //ct.gov/monkeypox

· There are currently 13 and the plan is to have more added later this week

· You do not need a referral – just call the clinic directly to make an appointment

Persons with symptoms who have had close personal contact with someone with known monkeypox in the past 14 days of monkeypox should contact their health care provider. Vaccine is not recommended for individuals with current monkeypox illness.

Persons without symptoms who have had close personal contact with someone with known monkeypox in the past 14 days of monkeypox can contact their Local Health Department (link here) to get a referral for expedited vaccination.

Vaccine is also available to people who meet all of the following conditions:

· Gay, bisexual, or other man who has sex with men, and/or transgender, gender non-conforming, or gender non-binary

· Have had multiple or anonymous sex partners in the last 14 days

· Age 18 or older

· Connecticut resident

If you are eligible to be vaccinated, you should especially consider getting vaccinated if:

· Your partners are showing symptoms of monkeypox, such as a rash or sores.

· You met recent partners through online applications or social media platforms (such as Grindr, Tinder or Scruff), or at clubs, raves, sex parties, saunas or other large gatherings.

· You have a condition that may increase your risk for severe disease if infected with monkeypox virus, such as HIV or another condition that weakens your immune system, or you have a history of atopic dermatitis or eczema.