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Utah announces new monkeypox vaccine availability. Case count rises to 48.

UPDATE: appointments are now full and unavailable. Saturday vaccine clinic still available.
UPDATE: Totals updated Aug. 5 at 4pm.

The Utah Department of Health released Monday night new totals for the cases of monkeypox in the state. Statewide, 48 Utahns have either confirmed or probable cases of monkeypox. Thirty-seven of those reside in Salt Lake County, six in Utah County, two in Davis County, and three in Weber/Morgan Counties.

The vast majority of current cases in Salt Lake County identify as men who have sex with men, said Salt Lake County Health Department Communications Director Nicholas Rupp.

Only July 28, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services allocated an additional 786,000 doses of JYNNEOS vaccine. Salt Lake County received another batch Monday night and put plans in place to distribute more vaccines Tuesday morning.

Two options for vaccines are open for men who have sex with men who meet certain criteria — a new vaccination clinic to take place on August 6 and appointments scheduled through the Salt Lake County Health Department.

The clinic will be held on a walk-in basis on Saturday, August 6 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Salt Lake Public Health Center at 610 S. 200 East. Only those who meet all the following criteria will be allowed to get the vaccine:

  • You must be a man (cisgender or transgender) who has sex with men. Nonbinary people are also eligible if they have sex with men and have multiple intimate partners.
  • You are NOT in a mutually exclusive, monogamous sexual relationship with only one person.
  • You do NOT have any symptoms of monkeypox (see below).

Those who cannot make the clinic date can call for an appointment if they meet all of the criteria above. Call 385-468-SHOT (7468) or 385-468-4100.

Symptoms

  • Symptoms of monkeypox usually begin within 21 days after exposure.
  • Symptoms of monkeypox can include:
    • Fever
    • Headache
    • Muscle aches and backache
    • Swollen lymph nodes
    • Chills
    • Exhaustion
    • Respiratory symptoms (e.g. sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)
    • A rash that may be located on or near the genitals or anus but could also be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth.
      • The rash will go through several stages, including scabs, before healing.
      • The rash can look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy.
  • You may experience all or only a few symptoms.
    • Sometimes, people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms. Others only experience a rash.
    • Most people with monkeypox will get a rash.
    • Some people have developed a rash before (or without) other symptoms.
  • Symptoms usually last 2 to 4 weeks. People with symptoms should stay isolated the entire time they have symptoms.
  • The illness is over when all pustules have scabbed over and fallen off, and new skin is present.
  • People are contagious the entire time they have symptoms.
  • Most people recover fully with no treatment. People with severe illness or who are immunocompromised may receive antiviral medication with the approval of SLCoHD and the CDC.

Utah’s response

At the previous vaccine clinic, a total of 525 doses were delivered. Those who received the doses must return for a second shot in August.

The Utah Department of Health and Human Services determined that the state’s very limited supply of monkeypox vaccine should be reserved for those at the highest risk — men who have sex with men and have had multiple partners in recent weeks.

Salt Lake County Health Department officials reached out to organizers of sex-related events and asked them to notify their members that the vaccine would be available at a one-day event.

One of those leaders was Michael Sanders of blackBOOTS, who has headed up many sexual health programs in the past decade in Salt Lake.

“I have, in the past, engaged the community in many public health efforts, and I tend to have a lot of success because I have a large social network here in Utah and I’m just grateful that I could be a part of that process,” he said.

The vaccine supply ran out an hour and a half before the scheduled end of the clinic. in the county and will not until the federal government allocates more to the state and county.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ordered an additional 2.5 million doses of the vaccine from the manufacturer on July 1.

The county health department does ask you to call them if you notice a new rash or know you’ve had close or skin-to-skin contact with someone diagnosed with monkeypox. Call 385-468-4242.

You can stay current on vaccine eligibility and availability by clicking on the “Monkeypox Info” banner at SaltLakeHealth.org.

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