The vaccine can prevent the illness in those deemed at high risk for exposure to the virus. And it can lessen symptoms in those with a confirmed diagnosis — especially when given quickly after the appearance of symptoms, ideally within four days.
Anyone can contract monkeypox, regardless of age, race/ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, some people are statistically at a higher risk. In an August interview, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said 98% of U.S. monkeypox cases are occurring in men, and that the majority of those men reported recent sexual contact with other men.
“Virtua Pride Primary Care is a place where people can receive compassionate, quality health screenings and services in a judgment-free environment,” said Dr. Sam Weiner, chief medical officer for Virtua Medical Group. “Offering the monkeypox vaccine is a new way we can demonstrate that commitment to personalized, inclusive care.”
Weiner encourages anyone who thinks they may benefit from the monkeypox vaccine to review the CDC’s eligibility criteria. Those eligible for the vaccine are not required to be patients of the practice or Virtua. Appointments are required, as the practice cannot accommodate walk-in vaccine requests at this time.
According to the State of New Jersey, there have been 661 probable and confirmed monkeypox cases in the state — and 41 hospitalizations — as of Sept. 20. Although Hudson and Essex counties in northern New Jersey have seen the most monkeypox cases, Camden County accounts for 5% of the state’s total.