The Mississippi State Department of Health will host a monkeypox vaccination clinic on Friday inside the Jackson Medical Mall from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Due to the limited supply, the vaccine has only been available to Mississippians aged 18 and older who have had close, intimate contact with an infected person or who are a member of the LBBTQ+ community at high risk for infection.
Mississippi’s initial allotment of the Jynneos monkeypox vaccine included enough doses to inoculate 300 people. The department still does not know how many more doses the state will receive through the rest of the year.
Individuals interested in receiving the monkeypox vaccine are encouraged to call the health department at 1-877-978-6453 to verify their eligibility and make a vaccination appointment, though walk-ins are welcome.
Monkeypox vaccinations are also available by appointment at the health department locations in Lee, Panola, Leflore, Lowndes, Lauderdale, Adams, Hinds, Forrest and Harrison counties.
“If you are at risk for monkeypox, you can help prevent infection by avoiding close skin-to-skin or intimate contact with people who may be infected, and you should be vaccinated if you are eligible,” the health department said in a press release. “If you develop a new or unexplained rash, especially if you have been in close contact with someone who has monkeypox, isolate at home and contact your healthcare provider for testing.”
The monkeypox virus has spread to dozens of countries and infected more than 44,000 people worldwide since the outbreak began in May. Nearly 16,000 of those infections have occurred in the United States, and 21 cases have been identified in Mississippi.
Monkeypox, which is part of the same family of viruses as smallpox, produces many painful symptoms, but deaths from the disease are rare.
Symptoms of monkeypox can include: Fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion. Infected people often experience a rash that looks like pimples, or blisters that appear on many parts of the body. The illness typically lasts for two to four weeks.
The Biden administration declared the monkeypox outbreak a national health emergency on Aug. 4. The World Health Organization declared monkeypox a global public health emergency on July 23, the first time it has taken this step since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020. Monkeypox, COVID-19 and polio are the only diseases that have this designation.