BALLSTON SPA, NY — Saratoga County officials have announced the opening of a temporary clinic to administer the two-dose JYNNEOS vaccine to eligible people who may have had recent exposure to monkeypox.
Getting vaccinated soon after exposure reduces the risk of developing monkeypox and can reduce symptoms in those who get it.
There are currently no reported cases of monkeypox in Saratoga County. This vaccine clinic is a proactive step ahead of the upcoming summer tourist season.
The Saratoga County Health Department received 300 doses of the JYNNEOS vaccine from New York State. The state has designated Saratoga County as a tourist destination that could see an influx of visitors from areas currently experiencing increased cases of monkeypox.
The vaccine clinic will be held from 9:30am to 11:30am on Tuesday, July 12th and from 1:30pm to 3:30pm on Wednesday, July 13th at the Saratoga County Health Department at 6012 County Farm Rd. in Ballston Spa.
Appointment required. New York State has created a link for people to make appointments. Those who receive the vaccine will be scheduled for a follow-up visit for the second dose.
According to New York State eligibility guidelines, those eligible for a vaccine appointment include: all gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (cisgender or transgender) age 18 and older, who have had multiple or anonymous sexual partners in the past 14 days or recent exposure to monkeypox in the past 14 days.
Men who have sex or other intimate skin-to-skin contact with men they have met through dating apps or social media platforms, or at clubs, raves, sex parties, saunas, or other large gatherings, may be exposed to higher risk of having been recently exposed.
Anyone can get and spread monkeypox, but most cases in the current outbreak are among gay, bisexual or other men who have sex with men. The monkeypox virus is most often spread through direct contact with a rash or sores on someone who has the virus. It can also be spread by contact with clothing, bedding, and other items used by a person with monkeypox, or by respiratory droplets that can be transmitted through prolonged close contact.
Transmission can occur during sex or other close physical contact.
Symptoms of monkeypox usually begin seven to 14 days after exposure, but may not appear for up to 21 days. The most common symptom is a rash or sores that may look like pimples or blisters. They can be all over the body or only in certain parts, such as the face, hands, feet, mouth, genitals or anus. Before or at the same time as the rash or sores appear, some people have flu-like symptoms, such as fever, swollen lymph nodes, headache, and fatigue.
In some cases, monkeypox can cause severe illness. A person is contagious until all wounds have healed and a new layer of skin has formed, which can take two to four weeks.
To reduce the chance of contracting or spreading monkeypox, people should not have sex or other close physical contact (such as touching, massage, or kissing) if they or their partner(s) are sick, and especially if someone has a new or unexpected rash or sores anywhere on the body.
It is also recommended to avoid gatherings and direct contact with others who are unwell or have a rash or sores, and to wash hands, sex toys and bedding before and after sex or other intimate activities.
Everyone can protect themselves and prevent the spread of monkeypox in their communities. Here are some tips on how:
• Ask sexual partners if they have a rash or other symptoms consistent with monkeypox.
• Avoid skin-to-skin contact with someone who has a rash or other symptoms associated with monkeypox.
• Contact a health care provider after exposure or symptoms and check with your local health department about vaccine eligibility.
• New Yorkers receiving JYNNEOS vaccine should receive both doses four weeks apart and remain vigilant until fully vaccinated, two weeks after the second dose.
• If you or your healthcare provider suspect you may have monkeypox, isolate at home. If you can, stay in a separate area from other family members and pets.
• Follow reputable sources of health information, including the Saratoga County Department of Health, the New York State Department of Health and the CDC.
JYNNEOS vaccine is licensed by the US Food and Drug Administration for the prevention of monkeypox in people 18 years of age and older. The vaccine requires two doses, four weeks apart.
For more information, the New York State Department of Health has created a website for eligible adults considering vaccination so they can better understand their personal level of risk, available online at www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable /zoonoses/monkeypox /.
The Saratoga County Department of Health has created a monkeypox resource center on its webpage at www.saratogacountyny.gov/departments/health/monkeypox-resource-center/ with information and links to schedule a vaccine appointment.