HomeAnnouncementsMassachusetts opens 11 monkeypox vaccination sites, including one near Westford

Massachusetts opens 11 monkeypox vaccination sites, including one near Westford

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REGION — As the state works to respond to the current monkeypox outbreak, the Department of Public Health has announced it will be opening 11 sites across the state to administer the vaccine.

The closest location to receive a vaccine near Westford is at Greater Lawrence Family Health Center in Lawrence.

Vaccination comes with eligibility requirements

Currently, only those who are known contacts identified by public health via case investigation, contact tracing and risk exposure are eligible.

Presumed contacts are also eligible for vaccination. Presumed contacts include those who know that a sexual partner in the past 14 days was diagnosed with monkeypox or had multiple sexual partners in the past 14 days in a jurisdiction with known monkeypox.

The JYNNEOS vaccine, also known as Imvamune or Imvanex, has been licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use. Vaccines are available by appointment only at one of the 11 vaccination sites.

Monkeypox is a rare disease causes by the monkeypox virus, which is closely related to smallpox. Transmission of monkeypox does require close interaction with a symptomatic person, while brief interactions do not appear to be high risk at this time.

Symptoms of the virus include fever, headache, muscle aches and a skin rash. Individuals are contagious until all skin lesions have fallen off or scabbed over on a person’s skin, according to health officials. Illness typically lasts about two to four weeks.

Officials urge caution with monkeypox

The disease has been present in human populations since the 1970s.

“This is something we definitely need to take seriously. We don’t know the scope and the potential of it yet, but we have to act like it will have the capability of spreading much more widely than it’s spreading right now,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said on CNN this Saturday.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting more than 1,900 cases in the U.S., including 51 confirmed cases in Massachusetts.

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Ben Domaingue, Managing Editor
Ben Domaingue, Managing Editorhttps://www.clippings.me/bendomaingue
Ben Domaingue has previously worked at newspapers in New Hampshire and is the Managing Editor covering Westford. He’s passionate about community journalism, photography and hiking. Email him at bdomaingue@westfordcat.org.