LA Public Health Expands Monkeypox Vaccine Eligibility

Persons of any gender or sexual orientation who engaged in commercial and/or transactional sex in the past 14 days now eligible

By Dolores Quintana 

Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency because of the rising cases of Monkeypox in the state of California as of August 1, 2022 in an effort to bolster the state’s vaccination efforts. 

Governor Newsom said, in a press release, “California is working urgently across all levels of government to slow the spread of monkeypox, leveraging our robust testing, contact tracing and community partnerships strengthened during the pandemic to ensure that those most at risk are our focus for vaccines, treatment and outreach.“We’ll continue to work with the federal government to secure more vaccines, raise awareness about reducing risk, and stand with the LGBTQ community-fighting stigmatization.”

California’s Department of Health Monkeypox data page shows that Los Angeles County has 1,349 cases of Monkeypox as of August 25, a total that includes cases in Pasadena and Long Beach. Orange County has 106 cases, Riverside has 137 cases, San Bernardino has 37 cases and Ventura County has 17 cases currently. 

As of August 22, The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has expanded the eligibility for Los Angeles residents to receive both doses of the vaccine to prevent Monkeypox per their press release. 

To be eligible to receive the vaccine under this new criteria, you must attest to being part of certain groups in high-risk categories:

  • Gay or bisexual men and transgender people who had:
    • Multiple or anonymous sex partners in the past 14 days; OR
    • (NEW) Skin-to-skin or intimate contact (e.g., kissing, hugging) with persons at large venues or events in the past 14 days
  • (NEW) Persons of any gender or sexual orientation who engaged in commercial and/or transactional sex in the past 14 days (e.g., sex in exchange for money, shelter, food, and other goods or needs)

Of course, residents who are immunocompromised, including those with advanced or uncontrolled HIV, may be at high risk for severe disease and will be prioritized for vaccination and residents who meet the prior criteria: a gay or bisexual man or a transgender person and who were diagnosed with gonorrhea or early syphilis in the past 12 months, are on HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), or had anonymous sex or sex with multiple partners within the past 21 days in a commercial sex venue or other venues are still eligible to receive the vaccine.

If you are eligible, you can register here

If you have already received your first dose 28 days ago, you should contact your provider to schedule an appointment for the second dose or if you registered through the Public Health registration system and were vaccinated at a Public Health location will receive a second text message when their second dose is due with instructions on where to receive their second dose. You must get the second dose of the vaccine without which the vaccine is not fully effective.

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