Long Beach Expands Monkeypox Vaccine Eligibility
Four days after confirming the first case of monkeypox in Long Beach, the city’s Health Department announced Wednesday that it will expand vaccine eligibility to people at higher risk of contracting the virus.
On Tuesday, the Health Department announced that it would establish a a pre-registration waitlist individuals in the following groups:
- People who were exposed to someone with confirmed monkeypox and do not have symptoms.
- People who attended an event/venue where there was high risk of exposure to someone with confirmed monkeypox.
- Gay or bisexual men and transgender persons who are on HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).
- Gay or bisexual men and transgender persons who attended or worked in saunas, bathhouses, sex clubs, circuit parties, or sex parties where they had anonymous sex or sex with multiple partners.
- Gay or bisexual men and transgender persons with a diagnosis of gonorrhea or early syphilis within the past 12 months.
The waitlistwent online Wednesday. The health department will contact folks if they meet the new eligibility requirements.
"We are working with urgency to address monkeypox in our community, and we are especially committed to ensuring that we meet the needs of our highest risk populations — gay and bisexual men in particular," Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia said in a news release. "Our health department is working around the clock to reach out to folks who may be impacted.
City Health Officer Anissa Davis says that while vaccines are limited right now, that shouldn't discourage people from signing up.
"Our goal is to get people in, so it's not like a waitlist that you'll be on — for hopefully not — for weeks and weeks...because the federal government is really actively pushing out more vaccine," Davis said. "And our goal is to turn it around and use it as soon as we receive it."
The vaccine, called JYNNEOS, is administered in two-doses given four weeks apart.
Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills, exhaustion and a rash that can look like pimples or blisters.
Long Beach, which has its own health department, has reported five presumptive and confirmed cases of the virus as of yesterday.
L.A. County public health officials have outlined criteria for vaccination. You can follow our chart below to check on eligibility.