Oklahoma Expands Eligibility For Monkeypox Vaccine

Friday, September 30th 2022, 8:03 pm


Health officials said Monkeypox isn’t going away anytime soon in the United States. The Oklahoma State Department of Health is entering the next phase in the monkeypox vaccine rollout. 

According to the CDC there are 39 reported cases of monkeypox in our state. Health departments are expanding who can get the vaccine starting Monday. 

OSDH said HIV infection and STI's are more prevalent among people with monkeypox. 

“Syphilis cases and congenital syphilis cases are definitely on the rise in Oklahoma and across the nation. We do encourage anybody that is concerned that they might have been exposed to come get tested. We do offer free screening here through the county health department,” said Jennifer Krawic, the Emergency Preparedness Administrator with the Oklahoma City-County Health Department. 

Come October 3, anyone diagnosed with syphilis in the last year or any person whose partner was diagnosed in the last year can get the vaccine. 

“We have over 750 doses on hand, so we have plenty of vaccine availability for anyone that is interested and we re-order through the State Health Department,” said Krawic. 

OCCHD offers the monkeypox vaccine weekdays from 8:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at their drive thru clinic. 

“The first dose of the monkeypox vaccine is given four weeks before the second dose,” she said. 

The Oklahoma State Department of health stressed the importance of going back for the second dose. 

Jolianne Stone, the State’s Epidemiologist said, “We know there can be some side effects from the shot, like discoloration or itching at the injection site, but most side effects are self-limiting and will go away in time and will go away in time.” 

“Individuals who are concerned about that do have the option to ask their nurse if a subcutaneous vaccination would be more appropriate for them. That vaccine would be given at the back of the arm underneath the skin,” said the Emergency Preparedness Administrator. 

Health professionals said getting the monkeypox and COVID-19 vaccines together can cause inflammation of the heart muscle. 

“There is a small risk of myocarditis with the COVID-19 vaccine we don’t recommend we get the two of those combined,” she said. 

OCCHD said they will try and accommodate walk ins but it's best to schedule an appointment to get vaccinated. 



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