WHEELING-OHIO COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT
August 25, 2022 (12:00pm)
Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department Announces Limited Access to Monkeypox Vaccine
The Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department has announced limited access to the monkeypox vaccine, JYNNEOS, through the department’s Immunization Program. This announcement is in conjunction with the health departments in Hancock, Brooke, Marshall, Wetzel and Tyler counties in West Virginia.
The health department is currently offering the monkeypox vaccine to those who have been identified as being high-risk for the monkeypox virus. Vaccine eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis. All vaccinations will be by appointment, no walk-in vaccinations will be done at this time. Vaccinations are limited to West Virginia residents until vaccine supplies are increased nationally.
Individuals with certain risk factors may be considered for expanded post-exposure prophylaxis. The goal is to reach the population at highest risk, even if they have not had documented exposure to someone with confirmed monkeypox. Eligibility for monkeypox vaccination may change as the outbreak evolves or based on vaccine supply. Individuals who have a condition that may increase their risk for severe disease if infected with monkeypox, such as HIV or another condition that weakens their immune system, or atopic dermatitis or eczema, should especially consider getting vaccinated.
Current eligibility for this limited vaccination effort include:
- Gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men, and/or transgender, gender non-conforming, or gender nonbinary, AND
- Have had multiple or anonymous sex partners in the last 14 days
Northern Panhandle County Health Departments include:
- Hancock County Health Department – (304) 564-3343
- Brooke County Health Department – (304) 737-3665
- Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department – (304) 234-3682
- Marshall County Health Department – (304) 845-7840
- Wetzel/Tyler Health Department – (304) 337-2001
The Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department is also developing additional plans with the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for expanding vaccine eligibility and clinic sites, as it obtains more vaccines from the federal government.
Monkeypox is a contagious disease caused by the same family of viruses (orthopoxvirus) that causes smallpox. Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox, but milder and rarely fatal.
An individual can get the virus when they come into contact with the sores, scabs, or body fluids of an infected person. Infections occur through close, intimate situations, such as cuddling, kissing and sexual contact and by touching contaminated materials, such as clothing, bedding and other linens used by an infected person.
JYNNEOS vaccine has an emergency use authorization (EUA) from the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to inoculate individuals against monkeypox. JYNNEOS is a two-dose vaccine. After the first dose, the second dose is given four weeks later (28 days). Full immunity is not achieved until two weeks after that, a full six weeks after the first dose.
Symptoms of the monkeypox virus can manifest in a variety of ways. Early symptoms of monkeypox include:
- Rash (will appear in several stages, including scabs, before healing)
- Muscle aches and backache
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Respiratory symptoms such as sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough
If an individual believes they are eligible for the vaccine, they should contact their primary care provider to discuss their individual health concerns or the health department to schedule a vaccination appointment by calling (304) 234-3682.