CSHD’s monkeypox vaccine interest form now available

FILE - A health professional prepares a dose of a Monkeypox vaccine at the Edison municipal...
FILE - A health professional prepares a dose of a Monkeypox vaccine at the Edison municipal vaccination center in Paris Wednesday July 27, 2022.(Alain Jocard, Pool via AP, FIle)
Published: Aug. 12, 2022 at 12:50 PM EDT
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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) - Starting Friday, individuals who live or spend time in the Central Shenandoah Health District can complete an interest form for the monkeypox vaccine, JYNNEOS.

The district will begin to vaccinate individuals who may be at higher risk of monkeypox exposure. In order to gauge community interest and to determine who might be at higher risk, we have created an optional survey interest form for community members. Interested individuals can fill out this form.

“Now within our region we’re not seeing a large number of cases at this time but again I think a lot of this is really precautionary and just to gauge the interest that we have within CSHD so that we can better serve the people within our health district,” said Jordi Shelton, communications specialist for the Central Shenandoah Health District.

A limited supply of vaccines is being offered in Virginia to people with certain risk factors that increase their likelihood of becoming exposed to monkeypox.

“Vaccination supply is pretty limited and it’s not necessarily a guarantee that you’ll receive a vaccine by filling out this form but you will be added to a list to potentially receive a vaccine in the future depending on your risk factors,” said Shelton.

Monkeypox is a disease caused by a virus that can result in a rash or lesions and is spread through close person-to-person contact. While men who have sex with other men are at the highest risk for the disease, anyone can get and spread monkeypox.

“Anyone regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation can get monkeypox. It’s not something to be ashamed of or blamed for if you do get it. It’s just important that you have the tools so you can take care of yourself,” said Shelton.

Close contact includes touching skin lesions, bodily fluids, or clothing/linens that have been in contact with an infected person. Spread can also occur during prolonged, face-to-face contact, as well as sexual or intimate contact. At present, the highest risk activity is having sex with multiple or anonymous partners.

“At this time, widespread vaccination is not recommended or necessary for most people in our health district,” said Dr. Elaine Perry, Interim Director of the Central Shenandoah Health District. “Our staff will contact individuals who filled out the interest form and are at high risk to further determine eligibility. Completing the interest form is not a guarantee that a vaccine will be available.”

Personal information given for the survey is protected by HIPAA.

Central Shenandoah Health District includes the cities of Harrisonburg, Staunton, Waynesboro, Lexington and Buena Vista and the counties of Rockingham, Augusta, Rockbridge, Bath and Highland.

For more information, click here.

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