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  • Writer's pictureCaity Koz

Monkeypox Vaccine Available Tomorrow For Eligible People

As transmission of the monkeypox virus continues around the United States, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has made the Jynneos monkeypox vaccine available at designated sites around the state. Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) in Lebanon is among the vaccination sites and will begin administering vaccines on Friday, September 2, 2022. DHMC’s vaccination site is an outdoor drive-thru clinic in the Colburn Hill section of the medical center campus.

Vaccination is available as a preventative measure either before contracting monkeypox (pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP), or after being exposed to the virus (post-exposure prophylaxis, or PEP). For vaccine eligibility requirements and other information, and to make an appointment for vaccination, call the Dartmouth Health monkeypox hotline at 603-650-1818.

In order to be eligible for a vaccine through DHHS, the individual must live, work, and/or have a primary care provider in New Hampshire. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and DHHS recommend you receive the Jynneos vaccine if you:

  • Know you have been exposed to the monkeypox virus in the last 14 days, or

  • May be more likely to get the monkeypox infection (before being exposed to the virus), including men who have sex with men who reported:

  • Having three or more new sex partners in the last month,

  • Having group or anonymous sex,

  • Having sex at sex-on-site venues/events,

  • Exchanging sex for money/drugs/other needs, or

  • Taking medicine to prevent HIV (HIV PrEP).

Monkeypox is an infectious viral disease that causes skin lesions, often preceded or followed by influenza-like symptoms, with possible complications including significant scarring, secondary infections, pneumonia, sepsis, encephalitis, and loss of vision with severe eye infection. Monkeypox is spread through close contact that may include sexual/intimate activity; direct contact with monkeypox rash, scabs, or body fluids from a person with monkeypox; scratches/bites from an infected animal, or preparing or eating meat or using products from an infected animal; touching objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox; or contact with respiratory secretions such as saliva from someone with monkeypox coming in contact with someone’s eye or mouth. Being in a room with someone with monkeypox without the above exposures is a low risk for transmission, especially if for less than three hours and/or greater than six feet away. Symptoms may include:

  • Fever

  • Headache

  • Muscle aches and backache

  • Swollen lymph nodes

  • Chills

  • Exhaustion

  • Respiratory symptoms (e.g. sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)

  • A rash that may be located on or near the genitals or anus, but could also be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth

    • The rash will go through several stages, including scabs, before healing.

    • The rash can look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy.

Infections with the type of monkeypox identified in the current outbreak are rarely fatal, but can be more dangerous for people with immunodeficiency and/or comorbidities. The risk level for children and pregnant people is unknown, and monkeypox may be passed from a pregnant person to a fetus.

If you believe you have come into contact with or contracted monkeypox, you may call the Dartmouth Health hotline for information, and you should isolate at home and contact your primary care provider to determine the next steps with respect to your care. Visiting an emergency department immediately is not recommended.

For a full list of DHHS vaccination sites, click here.


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