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Beebe Healthcare launches monkeypox vaccine clinic

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Beebe Healthcare
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Beebe Healthcare

Sign-ups for Beebe Healthcare’s monkeypox vaccine clinics began Monday. The clinics will take place this Friday and next, and Clinical Programs Manager Angie Scott says they’ll add Saturday dates as well.

“Right now on Fridays, opening up Saturdays very shortly, from 8am until 4pm, we vaccinate a person every 10 minutes so our capacity is about 100 persons per day," Scott said. "That would mean 100 persons per week at this point in time but like I said when we add those Saturdays in we’ll probably do an additional 100 so a capacity of approximately 200 people per week.”

Scott says Beebe is also working to expand access to the entire county.

“There are discussions around how we increase access to not just this particular area but the entire southern Delaware," she said. "How do we get this vaccine to people of all different backgrounds, and socio and economic statuses and life situations equally across the board.”

Delaware has 11 reported cases of monkeypox as of Monday.

Among 2,891 cases reported in the United States through July 22, 99% of cases were among men, 94% of which reported male-to-male sexual or close intimate contact.

Current Delaware vaccine eligibility focuses on gay, bisexual, or transgender people assigned male at birth, but anyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, who has been in close, personal contact with someone who has monkeypox is at risk.

Scott emphasizes that monkeypox is not exclusively a sexually transmitted disease.

The guidelines also include anyone who has recently been in close contact with someone confirmed to have monkeypox, and Scott says the vaccine can help even after exposure. Two weeks after the 2nd dose, the vaccine is about 85% effective.

“For post-exposure vaccination, you want to try and get in as soon as possible to get that vaccine before the virus starts replicating," Scott says. "Before you start showing symptoms, lesions, those sorts of things.”

Beebe says initial response has been good - but slots remain available at beebehealthcare.org/online-scheduling.

Rachel Sawicki is Delaware Public Media's New Castle County Reporter. They are non-binary and use they/them pronouns.