The Wayne County Health Department announced this week it is expanding eligibility for the monkeypox vaccine as infections continue in the state.
The health department is asking those who in live in Wayne County and meet at least one of the below criteria to call 1-866-610-3885 to schedule an appointment, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Remember, you only need to meet one of these criteria to be eligible for a vaccine:
- Anyone exposed to monkeypox (MPV) within the last 14 days (had close physical contact, including household contact, with someone diagnosed with MPV), or;
- Individuals 18+ years who are at higher risk for exposure including:
- Partners OR close/household contacts of individuals who have been exposed to MPV or engaged in higher-risk activities
- Men who have sex with men and have a history of STI in the last year
- Individuals who have OR plan to have multiple or anonymous sex partners
- Individuals who have OR plan to have close contact at a high-risk event or high-risk venue
- Individuals engaged in any type of sex work
- Individuals taking HIV PrEP or those living with HIV
Vaccines are available at the ACCESS Maple Clinic, on 6450 Maple Street in Dearborn, Monday-Friday, from 8 a.m.- 5:30 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome.
Additional groups and individuals who are in certain at-risk settings may be eligible based on local health department risk assessment, current transmission data and vaccine supply, the county said.
Michigan numbers as of Wednesday, Aug. 31, show 28 total confirmed and probable cases of MPV. Detroit itself has 59 cases. The state total as of Wednesday was 193.
The U.S. has a total of 18,989 cases of the disease, as of Thursday. Many of the hotspots for cases around the county are in populous states, and ports of entry, like New York, Texas, California and Florida.
MPV is a disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus.
The monkeypox virus belongs to the genus that also includes the variola virus (which causes smallpox), the vaccinia virus (used in the smallpox vaccine) and the cowpox virus. Monkeypox is not related to chickenpox.
MPV is contagious when a rash is present and up until scabs have fallen off. Symptoms generally appear one to two weeks after exposure and infection, and the rash often lasts two to four weeks.
People experiencing MPV symptoms should contact their health care provider for evaluation. While many of those affected in the current global outbreaks are men who have sex with men, anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has monkeypox can get the illness.
Though there are no treatments specifically for MPV infections, MPV and smallpox viruses are genetically similar, which means that antiviral drugs and vaccines developed to protect against smallpox can be used to prevent and treat MPV infections.
Michigan has received a limited supply of the monkeypox vaccine from the federal government. More doses are expected to arrive, though the state isn’t clear on the timeline.
The federal government continues to purchase the vaccine, but it is not likely to become broadly available anytime soon.