MSDH expands eligibility for monkeypox vaccine, 11 reported cases

Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 4:48 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WDAM) - The department of health is expanding monkeypox vaccine eligibility to Mississippians with identified risk factors.

The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) made the announcement on Thursday, Aug. 11. They also announced that Mississippi currently has 11 reported cases of monkeypox, and they expect that number to rise. Nationwide, more than 10,000 cases have been reported.

State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers said that most cases identified in the United States are among individuals who report male-to-male sexual contact. However, he also said that anyone could be exposed through close person-to-person contact.

“While anyone who is exposed to monkeypox through close person-to-person or intimate contact may become infected, most of the cases being seen in this outbreak are among individuals who are gay, bisexual or other men who have sex with men,” said Byers.

The MSDH said Mississippi had received very few doses of the monkeypox vaccine. As a result, the department is prioritizing the two-dose vaccine for those at the highest risk for exposure to monkeypox and those with known contact with cases identified through MSDH investigations.

Mississippians 18 years or older may be eligible for vaccination if they:

  • Have been notified or are aware of close intimate or sexual contact with someone diagnosed with monkeypox, OR
  • Identify as gay, bisexual, transgender, or other men who have sex with men, who report
    • Having had multiple or anonymous sex partners, OR
    • Having attended an event or venue where monkeypox may have been transmitted (for example, by skin-to-skin contact or sex on-site)

Vaccines are available by appointment only to those who meet the above criteria. MSDH said they would reevaluate and possibly expand eligibility as more vaccines become available in the coming weeks.

Appointments are available at county health department clinics in Adams, Forrest, Harrison, Hinds, Lauderdale, Lee, Leflore, Lowndes and Panola counties.

Appointments can only be made through the Monkeypox Call Center at 1-877-978-6453. The call center is also available to answer questions, provide more information and help people determine their eligibility.

If you are at risk for monkeypox, you can help prevent infection by avoiding close skin-to-skin or intimate contact with people who may be infected and getting vaccinated.

If you develop a new or unexplained rash, especially if you have been in close contact with someone who has monkeypox, then the MSDH advises you to isolate at home and contact your healthcare provider for testing.

For more information on monkeypox, visit

Follow MSDH by e-mail and social media at [/msdhsite/index.cfm/23,0,327,html]

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