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More Angelenos Are Now Eligible For Monkeypox Vaccines

KHN MONKEYPOX INFO
A medical laboratory technician shows a suspected monkeypox sample at the microbiology laboratory of La Paz Hospital on June 06, 2022 in Madrid, Spain.
(Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images
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Getty Images Europe)
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While supply is still short, eligible adults can add themselves to the waiting list on the Public Health website. They’ll get a text message or phone call when it’s their turn.

With an expanding number of probable or confirmed monkeypox cases, Los Angeles County health officials are broadening who is eligible for the limited number of shots they currently have.

The expanded criteria now includes more high-risk groups, including adult men who have sex with men, who recently had anonymous sex or were diagnosed with gonorrhea or syphilis in the last year.

Los Angeles County chief medical officer Rita Singhal said the outbreak is quickly growing.

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“There have been 120 cases of monkeypox identified in L.A. County. This is more than double from when we reported 54 cases just eleven days ago,” she said at a press conference Tuesday.

People who test positive for monkeypox and their close contacts were already eligible for the shots.

Earlier this month, the Biden administration rolled out a national monkeypox vaccine strategy, saying it would send hundreds of thousands of vaccines to outbreak areas from the national strategic stockpile. L.A. County has received 9,800 doses in the last two weeks. As distribution slowly ramps up, County Department of Public Health officials say they’ll broaden who can receive the vaccine.

A flow chart explaining who is eligible for a monkeypox vaccine.
(Al Kamalizad/LAist )

How To Get A Monkeypox Vaccine In LA 

Call your doctor and ask if they have the monkeypox vaccine. If they don’t have the vaccine and you meet eligibility requirements ask your doctor to fill out a monkeypox provider attestation form and bring it to an L.A. Public Health monkeypox vaccination site.

You can also self-attest that you are eligible by filling out a form on the L.A. Public health online portal. You'll get a call or text when it's your turn to be vaccinated.

You can also visit an L.A. Public Health monkeypox vaccination location if you have the appropriate documentation. Bring your photo ID and one of the following:

  1. A lab report proving a gonorrhea or early syphilis infection in the last 12 months (can be a screenshot or patient portal shown on your phone)
  2. Bring a monkeypox provider attestation form filled out by your doctor saying you qualify for a vaccine. It can be a digital copy, but it needs a doctor’s signature.
  3. A text message with your name from the Los Angeles County Dept. of Public Health inviting you to get vaccinated. 

Monkeypox is caused by a member of the same family of viruses as smallpox. Although this version of monkeypox isn't usually deadly, it can cause a nasty illness that lasts for several weeks. Typically, people have a fever, muscle aches and then a rash on their face, mouth, hands and possibly genitals.
Health officials recommend avoiding close physical contact — both sexual and non-sexual — with people who have symptoms of an illness, sores, or rashes.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports at least 267 confirmed cases in California so far.

Nationwide, 2,108 cases have been confirmed in almost every state, as well as Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico.

What questions do you have about the pandemic and health care?
Jackie Fortiér helps Southern Californians understand the pandemic by identifying what's working and what's not in our health response.