South Carolina, Georgia work to reach those who need monkeypox shots
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - To protect more South Carolinians at higher risk of exposure from monkeypox and help end its spread, state health officials are expanding the criteria for those eligible to get vaccinated.
Beginning Tuesday, the state Department of Health and Environmental Control’s eligibility list will include:
- Men who have sex with men who identify as gay, bisexual, transgender, gender-fluid or gender-nonbinary.
- Any person receiving HIV PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) treatment.
Across the U.S., the current outbreak is primarily affecting men who have sex with men.
“We continue to work to control the spread of this disease and a critical element of that is getting as many people as possible vaccinated among those who are at higher risk of exposure,” said Dr. Linda Bell, state epidemiologist. “If we can stop spread in the higher-risk groups, then we can stop it for everyone.”
Residents can call 855-472-3432 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday or go online and use the DHEC Web Chat to find out if they are eligible to schedule an appointment.
The vaccine is not recommended for other members of the general public or health care workers at this time.
In Georgia, which has confirmed 1,400 cases, the state Department of Public Health and metro Atlanta health districts are offering monkeypox vaccinations at various locations and times during Atlanta Black Pride.
“Atlanta Black Pride is a time for celebration and reconnecting with friends, but we also want to ensure we are not missing the opportunity to provide important education about and vaccination for monkeypox,” said Alexander Millman, chief medical officer for DPH.
To make an appointment for monkeypox vaccination anywhere in the state, visit https://dph.georgia.gov/monkeypox.
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