What you need to know about Monkeypox vaccination in Kansas City

Photo of monkeypox virus that has been colorized, courtesy of NIAID

The monkeypox vaccine is now available locally. Those who are interested in receiving the vaccine can complete the online eligibility survey that can be found on the Kansas City Missouri Health Department website.

Monkeypox is a contagious disease caused by the monkeypox virus. There is currently an outbreak of monkeypox in the U.S. The virus spreads slowly and infects those who come in close contact with someone who already has the virus. Symptoms include fever, headache, tiredness, and a rash. These symptoms show up seven to fourteen days after the first contact and last two to four weeks.

The best-known vaccine for Monkeypox is JYNNEOS,  a two-dose vaccine that’s also effective against the better-known smallpox.

Local officials have been talking to the federal government to let them know when vaccines are needed here, says Michelle Pekarsky, the public information officer of the Kansas City Missouri Health Department. There have been a handful of local cases but no epidemic and changes to the way the vaccine is being administered have made more vaccines available.

“We are in better shape since the Food and Drug Administration issued emergency use authorization for intradermal injection for individuals eighteen years of age or older.”

The use of intradermal injection—a shallow injection just under the skin—allows healthcare providers to give small doses of the vaccine, which increases the number of available vaccines. “Instead of having eighteen doses to give, we will now have up to nine-thousand doses for up to four-thousand-five-hundred people with two doses each,” says Pekarsky.

“We are making appointments with those who completed the survey and are eligible for the vaccine. We will continue to receive contact information for eligible Missourians through the survey, and moving forward, we have a capacity for approximately thirty-five monkeypox vaccination appointments per day,” says Pekarsky.

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