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MADISON – The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) this week 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 vaccine series.

As of Wednesday, DHS had identified 14 cases of orthopoxvirus, presumed to be monkeypox, in Wisconsin. Kenosha County confirmed its first case on Monday.

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, the DHS stated in a news release.

The DHS also stated that 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 a monkeypox infection if they have close contact with someone who is sick.

Monkeypox vaccine eligibility

Due to a limited monkeypox vaccine supply, DHS currently recommends vaccination 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, bisexual, trans, and any other men who have sex with men, who have had multiple sexual partners in the past 14 days.

DHS encourages anyone who had a known exposure to monkeypox to talk with their healthcare provider to learn if they are eligible to receive a monkeypox vaccine.

For free, confidential support in finding health care and community resources, dial 211 or 877-947-2211 or text your Zip code to 898-211.

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Paul Holley is retired from careers in journalism, public relations and marketing but not from life. These days, he pretty much writes about what he feels like writing. You may contact him directly at:...