form available for people in the central shenandoah health district interested in a monkeypox vaccine
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Form available for people in the Central Shenandoah Health District interested in a monkeypox vaccine

Virginia Department of HealthIndividuals who live or spend time in the Central Shenandoah Health District can complete an interest form for the monkeypox vaccine, Jynneos.

The district will begin to vaccinate individuals who may be at higher risk of monkeypox exposure.

In order to gauge community interest and to determine who might be at higher risk, the Virginia Department of Health has created an optional survey interest form for community members.  Interested individuals can fill out this form.

A limited supply of vaccines are being offered in Virginia to people with certain risk factors that increase their likelihood of becoming exposed to monkeypox. Because vaccination supply remains limited, vaccination is not guaranteed by filling out the interest form.

“At this time, widespread vaccination is not recommended or necessary for most people in our health district,” said Dr. Elaine Perry, interim director of the Central Shenandoah Health District. “Our staff will contact individuals who filled out the interest form and are at high risk to further determine eligibility. Completing the interest form is not a guarantee that a vaccine will be available.”

Monkeypox is a disease caused by a virus that can result in a rash or lesions and is spread through close person to person contact. Anyone can get and spread monkeypox.

Close contact includes touching skin lesions, bodily fluids, or clothing/linens that have been in contact with an infected person. Spread can also occur during prolonged, face-to-face contact, as well as sexual or intimate contact.

At present, the highest risk activity is having sex with multiple or anonymous partners.

The Central Shenandoah Health District includes the cities of Harrisonburg, Staunton, Waynesboro, Lexington and Buena Vista and the counties of Rockingham, Augusta, Rockbridge, Bath and Highland.

For more information, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/monkeypox

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.