(LDH) – The Louisiana Department of Health’s Department of Health will offer monkeypox vaccines, including second doses, at events in Alexandria (Region 6) starting this week. These events focus on serving people who are homeless but are open to the public.
CDC recommends that people receive the second dose of monkeypox vaccine within 24 to 35 days of the first dose. Conveniently, the COVID-19 vaccine and updated bivalent booster vaccines from Pfizer (approved for people 12 and older) and Moderna (approved for people 18 and older) for bivalent COVID-19 will also be available.
Partners host events at the following times and locations. First and second doses of Monkeypox are available at all locations in addition to updated bivalent COVID-19 boosters.
- VOA H2O Homeless Assistance Event, Thursday, September 22nd9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., Emmanuel Baptist Church, 430 Jackson St., Alexandria
- The Manna House, Monday, September 26th 11:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. 2655 Lee St., Alexandria
- Homeless Coalition, Friday 30 September8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., 1515 Jackson St., Alexandria
You don’t have to get your first and second doses at the same place. Anyone due for a second dose can come to one of the events above or find your second dose from a nearby supplier by visiting LDH’s monkeypox website at ldh.la.gov/monkeypox or by phone at 211.
As of September 21, Louisiana has identified 239 cases of monkeypox in Louisiana residents since the beginning of the monkeypox outbreak in the United States in 2022.
Suitability for monkeypox vaccines
Effective August 31, 2022, the expanded immunization criteria include individuals in Louisiana who meet any of the following criteria:
- Gay/bisexual men or transgender people who are sexually active with more than one partner
- Anyone at high risk of exposure to monkeypox. This includes, but is not limited to, individuals who:
- are HIV positive or are receiving medicines to prevent HIV infection (PrEP)
- experience homelessness
- Use IV medication
- Give or receive money or other goods in exchange for sex
- Have significant skin contact with others in a social or sexual location
- Work in facilities where sexual or intimate activity takes place (eg, bathhouses, saunas, sex clubs, hotels)
- Clinicians or laboratory personnel at high risk of occupational exposure
- Anyone identified by a healthcare provider or public health official as being at high risk
While monkeypox is not new, it is a potentially serious viral disease caused by a virus not common in the United States that is spread through close physical contact. The disease can make you ill, including a potentially painful rash that can look like bumps on your skin, blisters, or ulcers. Some people have a flu-like illness before they develop a rash.
According to the CDC, early data suggests that gay, bisexual, same-sex and other men who have sex with men account for high numbers of cases. However, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, anyone who has been in close personal contact with a person with monkeypox can become infected.
Monkey Pox Guide
Testing for monkeypox is now widely available. If you have symptoms and would like to be tested for monkeypox, contact your doctor. People without a provider or insurance can also get tested at their local health unit or community clinic: ldh.la.gov/phu
If you test positive for monkeypox, stay isolated until your rash has healed, all scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of intact skin has formed.
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