Monongalia County Health Department has received its first shipment of the JYNNEOS vaccine, which has emergency use authorization (EUA) from the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to inoculate individuals against monkeypox.
MCHD Clinical Services will hold a monkeypox vaccine clinic on Friday, by appointment only, to individuals considered at higher risk for the virus that has a hallmark symptom of a rash that may be located on or near the genitals and on other areas, such as hands, feet, chest, face or mouth.
Also, public health nurses will be on hand during this weekend’s Morgantown Pride events, handing out informational flyers and answering questions. There will be a parade at 7 p.m. Saturday on High Street and the Morgantown Pride Block Party beginning at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Morgantown Farmers Market.
“Monongalia County Health Department is excited to be one of the first health departments in the state to be offering this service to the citizens and visitors to our county,” said Dr. Lee B. Smith, MCHD’s county health officer. “We’re pleased to be working with the organizers of the Morgantown Pride events.”
MCHD has limited doses of the JYNNEOS vaccine. Prioritized groups who can consider getting the vaccine include gay, bisexual or other men who have sex with men, and/or transgender, gender non-conforming or gender non-binary individuals who have had multiple or anonymous sex partners in the last 14 days, as well as those who have had a known exposure to a confirmed or probable monkeypox case in the last 14 days.
The list also includes research laboratory personnel working with orthopoxviruses, clinical laboratory personnel performing diagnostic testing for orthopoxviruses and designated local health department staff members.
To make an appointment, call 304-598-5119 or go online to book.novelhealth.ai/MCHDC.
JYNNEOS is a two-dose vaccine. The second dose is given four weeks after the first dose. Full immunity is not achieved until two weeks after that, a full six weeks after the first dose.
“We want to emphasize the importance of getting the second dose,” Smith said.
An outbreak of monkeypox was confirmed in May 2022. Currently, there are no cases in Monongalia County and four confirmed cases in West Virginia. In the United States, there are 15,909 cases and globally, that number is 44,503, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (cdc.gov). No deaths from the virus have been confirmed in the United States.
In addition to the rash, other symptoms of monkeypox can include fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, exhaustion, muscle aches and back ache, headache and respiratory symptoms. According to the CDC, some individuals might only get the rash, while others could experience the flu-like symptoms each before or after getting the rash. Symptoms usually begin three weeks after exposure.
“This means that someone might have been exposed to it without knowing for a few weeks, making it easier to transmit the virus to someone else,” Smith said.
For up-to-date information on health and wellness in Monongalia County, check out monchd.org and follow the health department on Facebook and Twitter @WVMCHD and on Instagram at #wvmchd.