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Summit County Public Health creates monkeypox vaccine waiting list

County health leaders say the vaccine is initially being distributed to those at the highest risk.

AKRON, Ohio — Less than a week after confirming the first case of monkeypox in Summit County, health officials there are preparing to distribute vaccines to those in need. 

Summit County Public Health has announced that they have created a monkeypox vaccine waiting list. "Monkeypox vaccines are in limited supply. Like early distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, the monkeypox vaccine is initially being distributed to those at highest risk," SCPH wrote on its website.

There will be four vaccine distribution tiers: 

  • Tier 1 - People at risk for occupational exposure (i.e. lab personnel with high exposure risk) and individuals identified as close contacts or direct exposures.
  • Tier 2 - Attendees at events/venues linked to known monkeypox transmission.
  • Tier 3 - Individuals likely to have prolonged intimate contact that would put them at higher risk of being exposed.
  • Tier 4 - Nationally or locally identified groups with high risk of exposure.

If you would like to be notified when the monkeypox vaccine is available, click here to complete SCPH's monkeypox vaccine registration.

Summit County Public Health says that monkeypox can spread to anyone through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact, including the following:

  • Direct contact with monkeypox rash, scabs, or body fluids from a person with monkeypox.
  • Touching objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox.
  • Contact with respiratory secretions.

Symptoms of monkeypox include a rash that may be located on or near the genitals or anus and that could be on other areas such as the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth. The rash will go through several stages, including scabbing, before healing, and may initially look like pimples or blisters and be itchy.

Other symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Exhaustion
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Headache
  • Respiratory symptoms (e.g. sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)

Some people experience the symptoms prior to the rash and some experience them after. Others only experience the rash.

A person who has contracted monkeypox can spread it to others from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed. The illness typically lasts between two and four weeks.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports there are 12,689 cases of monkeypox in the U.S. as of Tuesday. Ohio has 116 cases, with 34 in Cleveland. Summit County's first case involved a resident taking part in out-of-state travel with no direct contacts in Summit County related to the case. The resident will complete their isolation period out of state. 

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