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Columbia pub will host monkeypox vaccine clinic

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are roughly 124 cases of Monkeypox in Missouri according to data from Oct. 14.

There are 6.2 million Missouri residents.

The Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services will be holding a walk-in vaccination clinic on Wednesday, Oct. 19 from 5-8 p.m. at the Arch & Column Pub.

No appointments are needed, and members of the public are being encouraged to attend.

According to an epidemiologist at the Department of Health and Senior Services, Nathan Koffarnus,

"It's behaving a lot like a sexually transmitted infection," said Nathan Koffarnus, who is an epidemiologist at the Department of Health and Senior Services . "Although it's not exclusively transmitted that way, it's basically skin-to-skin contact so that could be something completely non-sexual.

"We've had stories of people dancing in clubs with their shirts off, that kind of thing."

Koffarnus, as well as the health department, are asking for people in higher-risk groups to get vaccinated.

"We've seen a trend of men who have sex with other men being a main group contracting Monkeypox," Koffarnus said. "That isn't necessarily the only group at risk, however. It is also people who have multiple partners."

According to Koffarnus, states with larger cities and populations of infected people received vaccines first. Since rates of infection have been decreasing since August, other states are getting the opportunity to vaccinate people outside of those who had close contact with the illness.

"We can do preventative vaccinations now," Koffarnus said. "Missouri was in a bit of a waiting game but now that things have calmed a bit, the government has given us more access to vaccines."

People younger than 18 years old will need parental consent to receive the vaccination. No insurance information is needed and the vaccines will be given free of charge.

The Columbia Public Health and Human Services department provided a list on their website explaining what makes someone eligible for the vaccine. The eligibility list can be found here.

Article Topic Follows: Columbia

Ethan Heinz

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