ICYMI: Monkeypox Vaccination Clinic Now Open in Ward 8

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his 1997 image was created during an investigation into an outbreak of monkeypox in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Photo: CDC/Public Domain

Tthe District’s third monkeypox vaccination clinic opened in Ward 8 on Monday, August 1, and DC Health is encouraging residents to continue pre-registering for a monkeypox vaccination appointment.

Monkeypox vaccinations are confidential. Those who want to get vaccinated have to first book an appointment. Residents are able to choose which vaccination site they want to visit while they book.

District residents can pre-register for monkeypox vaccination appointments by visiting preventmonkeypox.dc.gov. All residents are invited to pre-register for a vaccination appointment, and those who are not currently eligible will be contacted if eligibility changes and appointments are available.

At present, to be eligible for the monkeypox vaccine in DC, a person must be a District resident, 18 years of age or older, and:

  • Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men and have had multiple (more than one) or any anonymous sexual partners in the last 14 days; or
  • Transgender women or nonbinary persons assigned male at birth who have sex with men; or
  • Sex workers (of any sexual orientation/gender); or
  • Staff (of any sexual orientation/gender) at establishments where sexual activity occurs (e.g., bathhouses, saunas, sex clubs)

Monkeypox is a rare, but potentially serious viral illness that can be transmitted from person to person through direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids. It can spread during intimate physical contact between people, including sex, kissing, and hugging. It also can be spread by respiratory secretions during prolonged face-to-face contact or when a person touches fabrics, such as bedding and towels, used by a person with monkeypox.

Initial symptoms of monkeypox often include flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle aches, and swollen lymph nodes, followed by a rash and lesions on the skin. Although the majority of cases do not require hospitalization, monkeypox is dangerous, highly contagious, and uncomfortable. While monkeypox can spread to anyone, the majority of current cases in the District are in men who have sex with men.

DC Health says anyone with a rash that looks like monkeypox should talk to their healthcare provider about whether they need to get tested, even if they don’t think they had contact with someone who has monkeypox.

When eligible residents register for the shot, they will be able to select their preferred location. Registration is required. At this time, patients can not walk in. The Ward 8 clinic is located at 3640 Martin Luther King Jr.