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Idaho now vaccinating high-risk individuals for monkeypox

Spain Monkeypox
Posted at 1:59 PM, Aug 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-05 19:16:02-04

BOISE, Idaho  — The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is making the monkeypox vaccine available to high-risk individuals. The state had previously been using a post-exposure vaccination approach.

While the vaccine is still not widely available to the public, more doses are expected in the coming months.

For those who want to get vaccinated and are considered high-risk, men who have sex with men and their sexual networks should contact their doctor or local Public Health District.

As of Friday afternoon, there are six confirmed cases of monkeypox and an additional probable case that could be confirmed as soon as Friday afternoon, according to Dr. Christine Hahn, public health medical director and state epidemiologist with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

A majority of Idaho's cases are in the Central District Health jurisdiction.

"If you believe you are at high risk for getting Monkeypox, for example, you are a man who has sex with men, you're sexually active. Yes, you are a candidate for the vaccine reach out to your provider or your local health department to see how you can access that," said Hahn.

While this outbreak is being seen in men who identify as gay, bisexual, transgender, and non-binary, doctors want to reiterate this is not an STI.

"Everything that we are seeing so far around the world, and in the United States suggests that close skin to skin contact is by far and away appears how this is spreading, we do know there is a possibility with close lengthy contact let's say in a household setting that you can have it maybe just by talking and being very close to someone when they are highly contagious early in the disease, " said Hahn.

A dashboard, where you can find the number of cases, and available vaccine doses per health district can be found here.