More Pima County residents are eligible for the monkeypox vaccine

(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)
Published: Sep. 30, 2022 at 9:49 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The Pima County Health Department has is offering free monkeypox vaccines and expanded eligibility to those that say they are currently at risk or could be in the future.

“The risk of monkeypox to the general population is low, but there are behaviors and occupations that increase that risk,” Pima County Health Department Director Dr. Theresa Cullen was quoted as saying in a news release. “And we strongly encourage those who already have their first shot to get their second dose because you’re not fully protected until two weeks after completing the two-shot series.”

According to the news release, people are eligible for the vaccine if

  • They have had a been diagnosed with one or more sexually transmitted infections within the past 12 months
  • Have had sexual contact with more than one person in the past 12 months
  • Have been in contact with someone who has had monkeypox
  • Had a sexual partner who has had a new diagnosis within the past 12 months
  • Anticipate experiencing the above risks

Healthcare providers who anticipate being exposed to monkeypox on a daily basis are also eligible, including:

  • Lab workers who routinely work with monkeypox specimens
  • Healthcare providers who work at sexual health clinics
  • Healthcare providers who work in settings primarily serving LGBTQIA+ communities

The health department is offering monkeypox vaccines at the Tucson Pride Festival on Saturday, Oct. 1 from 1:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Georges DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center, located at 900 South Randolph Way in Reid Park.

Pima County has seen more than 55 probable or confirmed monkeypox cases.

For more information about the monkeypox vaccine and where to get it, click here.