Maricopa County planning next monkeypox vaccine clinic for September

This comes after 1,000 appointments were booked within three hours for the August 25th vaccine event.
The Maricopa County Department of Public Health says it will host another monkeypox vaccine clinic on Thursday, Sept. 1. This comes after 1,000 appointments wer
Published: Aug. 25, 2022 at 7:09 AM MST|Updated: Aug. 25, 2022 at 7:49 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - The Maricopa County Department of Public Health says it will host another monkeypox vaccine clinic on Thursday, Sept. 1.

This comes after 1,000 appointments were booked in three hours for the Thursday, Aug. 25 clinic. If you’re interested in getting the vaccine, county health officials have an interest survey up online to gauge community interest. So far, the department says 10,000 of those surveys have been completed. Here’s more on who is eligible for the vaccine and how to sign up.

“It’s important to remind everyone that the way that monkeypox is transmitted is close contact of skin to skin contact, with intimate skin contact,” said Dr. Nick Staab, a medical epidemiologist with Maricopa County. “If you’re not having that kind of contact with others that you’re not familiar with, then you’re really at low-risk for monkeypox at this time. You do not need to be vaccinated.”

For the next planned clinic, those who have filled out the online survey and are determined to be eligible will get information on how to sign up for an appointment. Dr. Staab says they have reached out to other partners in the community to get the vaccine to high-risk populations, so we may start to hear about more vaccine events around the county in the near future. The Arizona Department of Health Services now has a section on its website dedicated to monkeypox information. So far it’s received about 14,000 doses from the federal government, which it then allocates to local jurisdictions.

“We’ve been working with our federal partners to identify the allocations that are determined for our state. And so in order to identify how many of the limited vaccines come to Arizona, the federal government is using a formula around how many monkeypox cases we currently have, and the individuals that we have that would most benefit from that vaccine,” said AZDHS deputy director Carla Berg. “And so that in with that same approach, we’re then allocating to our local health departments, leveraging that model.”

Berg says while anybody can be exposed to monkeypox, the overall risk remains low. “Key pieces to know is that public health is working, and really working hard, to best leverage our data that we do have to maximize the resources including vaccine, testing, and then making available treatment for those individuals who do have monkeypox and met the criteria for that treatment,” Berg said.

The Navajo Nation is also staying alert to the monkeypox infection rates. On Wednesday, the Navajo Department of Health and the Navajo Epidemiology Center said that it had its first confirmed case of Monkeypox in the nation from an individual living in McKinley County, New Mexico. Pesident Nez said that the nation has established a Monkeypox Preparedness Team, with the help of federal health officials and the White House.

“Through these efforts, we’ve been able to secure doses of the Monkeypox vaccines and they will be available to the Navajo people soon. As cases of Monkeypox began to spread across the country and into the southwest, we knew we had to prepare,” the president said. “Just as we saw with COVID-19, it came to a point where every region surrounding the Navajo Nation was affected.”