Health

Mpox Vaccine, Information and Resources

Expanded Mpox Vaccine Eligibility

As of August 29, 2022, the Mpox (monkeypox) vaccine eligibility has expanded to the following:

  • Gay, bisexual, other men who have sex with men or transgender people and their partners
  • People living with HIV
  • People who report being at a venue in which a suspected, probable, or confirmed case of Mpox was identified
  • People who report having close contact with someone suspected, probable, or confirmed having Mpox

To sign up for an Mpox vaccine, please visit www.immunizepolk.com

 

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Mpox Vaccine

The state has made a limited amount of monkeypox vaccine available to eligible individuals in Polk County. Vaccine is only available for individuals who make an appointment on our website. The health department only creates appointments if there is enough vaccine available. If there are no appointments available, we no longer have vaccine. Eligible individuals for the Mpox vaccine include:
Gay, bisexual, other men who have sex with men (MSM), or transgender individuals who are at least 18 years of age, at increased likelihood of exposure and are included in one of the following categories:

  • New or multiple sex partners within the last 30 days
  • Close contact with others at a venue or event in the last 30 days where a suspected, probable, or confirmed case of Mpox was identified
  • Close contact with someone suspected, probable, or confirmed as having Mpox

To sign up for an Mpox vaccine, please visit www.immunizepolk.com

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Why are gay, bisexual, and men who have sex with men (MSM) identified as at risk for Mpox at this time?

The risk of Mpox is not limited to people who are sexually active (straight or gay) or self-identify as MSM. Mpox is primarily spread through prolonged, close skin-to-skin contact. Intimate contact is one way this virus can easily spread to others.

When public health professionals investigate an emerging illness such as the Mpox virus, they often look at who is being impacted and the severity of illness. From there, public health professionals determine the best course of action to control the spread of a virus and to prevent further community transmission. In the case of Mpox, the first cases were identified among MSM in non-endemic countries. Once public health professionals identify a group or a geographic area where a virus is spreading, we first concentrate our prevention and control efforts where we are finding the virus. This is especially true when we have vaccine as a prevention and control strategy and that vaccine is in limited supply. This is why we are starting our vaccination efforts for Mpox with the MSM community.

This is an on-going and very fluid situation. It is very possible we may identify cases among other groups of individuals and/or in the broader community. Vaccine eligibility will shift based on transmission of the virus and severity of illness.  

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Mpox is a viral infection that can spread through skin-to-skin contact, body fluids, Mpox sores or shared items (such as clothing and bedding) that have been contaminated with fluids or sores of a person with Mpox. The virus can also be spread through respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex. Although Mpox is not generally considered a sexually transmitted infection, but it can be transmitted during intimate contact and sex by skin-to-skin and other intimate contact, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

People with Mpox sometimes develop a flu-like illness with fever, fatigue, and enlarged lymph nodes followed by a rash. In other instances, people just develop a rash with or without swollen lymph nodes, which can occur on the genitals and/or around the anus. People usually develop monkeypox 7 to 14 days (and up to 21 days) after being exposed.

The Health Department encourages the following individuals to call and seek guidance from their medical provider:

  • Recently traveled to an area where Mpox cases have been reported and you have symptoms of Mpox especially if you have a rash or lesions. You can find a list of the countries where Mpox  has been reported on the CDC website
  • People who have symptoms of Mpox, particularly the characteristic rash or lesions
  • Contact with a confirmed or suspected Mpox case

Reduce your risk of getting or spreading Mpox by:

  • Avoiding close, skin-to-skin contact including kissing with people who have a rash, sores or confirmed Mpox.
  • Do not handle, touch or shake bedding, towels or clothing of a person with rash, sores or confirmed Mpox.
  • Do not share eating utensils or cups of a person with Mpox.
  • Washing your hands often.
  • Covering your coughs and sneezes.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting high touch surfaces and objects.

Resources:

Mpox fact sheet

Mpox Prevention & Risk Reduction for Vaccinated People handout

CDC information: https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/index.html

Iowa Department of Public Health information: https://idph.iowa.gov/ehi/monkeypox

National case count:https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/response/2022/us-map.html

Iowa case count: https://idph.iowa.gov/ehi/monkeypox

 


As of Monday, January 23, our Flu, Mpox, and COVID-19 Clinic Schedule changed. Appointments are available on Thursdays and Fridays from 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM. https://www.immunizepolk.com/