By Beacon Staff
The monkeypox vaccine is expected to arrive in Burlington by early September.
Des Moines County Public Health Administrator Christa Poggemiller said the vaccine will be restricted to those at the highest risk. There is very little supply of the vaccine in Iowa, according to the Department of Public Health – enough for a few thousand people.
The risk of catching monkeypox in Des Moines County is extremely low. As of last Tuesday, August 30, Iowa had a total of 19 monkeypox cases, while southeast Iowa had reported zero cases of monkeypox.
Those at highest risk are people who may have been recently in close contact with someone with the virus. Close contact includes direct contact with monkeypox sores or rashes and contact with respiratory droplets or oral fluids from someone with monkeypox, The virus also can be spread through direct contact with objects or fabrics that have been used by someone with the disease.
Poggemiller said eligibility for the vaccine will be determined by the Centers for Disease Control recommendations. Those at the highest risk are:
* Those who have been identified by public health officials as a contact of someone with monkeypox.
*Those who are aware that one of their sexual partners in the past two weeks has been diagnosed with monkeypox.
* Those who had multiple sexual partners in the past two weeks in an area with known monkeypox.
* Those whose jobs may expose them to orthopoxviruses such as smallpox, cowpox, horsepox, camelpox, and monkeypox. That includes laboratory workers who perform testing for that class of viruses and/or handle cultures or animals with orthopoxviruses, as well as some designated healthcare or public health workers.
To determine your eligibility, call Des Moines County Public Health at (319) 753-8290.