Elizabeth Goodsitt, 608-266-1683
DHS Expands Eligibility for Monkeypox Vaccination
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) today announced expanded eligibility for the monkeypox vaccine. To date, DHS has been allocated 1,486 doses of the JYNNEOS vaccine from the federal government, which is enough vaccine for 743 people to complete the two-dose series. As of July 28, 2022, DHS has identified 14 cases of orthopoxvirus, presumed to be monkeypox, in Wisconsin.
“Due to a limited vaccine supply, DHS is currently following the federal government’s recommendation to prioritize the JYNNEOS vaccine for individuals at the highest risk of infection,” said DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake. “At the same time, we encourage all Wisconsinites to be aware of the signs and symptoms of monkeypox and take precautions to prevent the spread.”
In Wisconsin, vaccination is now recommended for people who had known exposure to someone with monkeypox and people with certain risk factors who are more likely to be exposed to the virus. This includes:
- People who know that a sexual partner in the past 14 days was diagnosed with monkeypox.
- People who attended an event or venue where there was known monkeypox exposure.
- Gay men, bisexual men, trans men and women, any men who have sex with men, and gender non-conforming/non-binary individuals, who have had multiple sexual partners in the last 14 days.
DHS encourages anyone who had a known monkeypox exposure to talk with their health care provider to learn if they are eligible to receive a vaccine. If you do not have a regular source of health care, confidential support finding health care and community resources near you is available by dialing 211 or 877-947-2211, or texting your ZIP code to 898-211. Online resources are available at 211Wisconsin.org. As vaccine becomes more available, DHS will keep the monkeypox vaccination webpage updated with the latest information on eligibility and where to get the vaccine.
It is important to remember that the virus that causes monkeypox does not spread easily from person to person, and the overall risk to the public remains low. People who have recently been infected due to the current outbreak have reported having close, sustained physical or intimate contact with other people who have monkeypox. While most cases nationwide have occurred among gay, bisexual, trans, and other men who have sex with men, anyone can develop monkeypox infection if they have close contact with someone who is sick.
To prevent the spread of monkeypox, DHS encourages all Wisconsinites to:
- Know the symptoms and risk factors of monkeypox. Anyone with a rash that looks like monkeypox should talk to a health care provider about whether they need to get tested, even if they don’t think they had contact with someone who has monkeypox.
- Avoid skin-to-skin contact with people who are showing a rash or skin sores. Don’t touch the rash or scabs, and don’t kiss, hug, cuddle, have sex, or share items such as eating utensils or bedding with someone with monkeypox.
- In areas where monkeypox is spreading, participating in activities with close, personal, skin-to-skin contact may pose a higher risk of exposure.
- If you were recently exposed to the virus, contact a doctor or nurse to talk about whether you need a vaccine to prevent disease. Monitor your health for fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes and a new, unexplained rash, and contact a healthcare provider if any of those occur. If you become ill, avoid contact with others until you receive health care.
- If you are sick with monkeypox, isolate at home until the rash has fully resolved, the scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of skin has formed.
DHS urges anyone to contact a healthcare provider immediately if they develop a new or unexplained rash. The JYNNEOS vaccine is currently only available by appointment at designated health care locations in Wisconsin. For free, confidential support finding health care and community resources near you, dial 211 or 877-947-2211, or text your ZIP code to 898-211. Find resources online at 211Wisconsin.org.