DC Health provides weekly monkeypox vaccination clinics for eligible residents

D.C. Health officials will be hosting walk-up monkeypox vaccination clinics at three separate locations throughout the District on Fridays.

The clinics will operate on Fridays from noon until 8 p.m., or while supply lasts, at the D.C. Health monkeypox vaccination clinics located at:

  • 3640 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE – Ward 8
  • 7530 Georgia Ave NW – Ward 4
  • 1900 I St NW – Ward 2

D.C. Health says the vaccinations will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis to eligible residents who have not already received a first dose of the monkeypox vaccine. 

Each site will have 300 doses available per day.

RELATED: Monkeypox cases reported within D.C.'s homeless community

 Officials say to be eligible for the vaccine, a person must be a District resident (with proof of residency) over 18-year-old 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) 

D.C. Health says the walk-up appointments are aimed at increasing vaccine access to individuals who may not have the ability or technology to pre-register online, or for those who may not feel comfortable providing their eligibility information online.

They ask anyone who may have pre-registered and received a vaccination apportionment, to keep their scheduled time instead of seeking a walk-up vaccination. They add that if you are unable to make your appointment to email vaccinatedc@dc.gov to cancel.

If you have not received an invitation to schedule your appointment, D.C. Health says, you may currently be eligible for the vaccine.

According to monkeypox data from D.C. Health, as of Tuesday, the department has:

  • Administered more than 10,500 doses through DC Health monkeypox extended PEP clinics with more than 1,300 appointments currently scheduled. 
  • Pre-registered more than 23,000 District residents of which 16,589 are currently eligible
  • Sent out approximately 21,000 booking invitations
  • Identified more than 700 close contacts 

As of Saturday morning, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says D.C. has reported 283 monkeypox cases.

Monkeypox Signs, Symptoms and Prevention from the CDC:

Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus is part of the same family of viruses as smallpox. Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder; and monkeypox is rarely fatal. Monkeypox is not related to chickenpox.

Symptoms of monkeypox can include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion
  • A rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appears on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus.

The rash goes through different stages before healing completely. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks. Sometimes, people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms. Others only experience a rash.

Monkeypox spreads in different ways. The virus can spread from person-to-person through:

  • direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids
  • respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex
  • touching items (such as clothing or linens) that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids
  • pregnant people can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta

It’s also possible for people to get monkeypox from infected animals, either by being scratched or bitten by the animal or by preparing or eating meat or using products from an infected animal.

Monkeypox can spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks. People who do not have monkeypox symptoms cannot spread the virus to others. At this time, it is not known if monkeypox can spread through semen or vaginal fluids.

Prevention Steps

Take the following steps to prevent getting monkeypox:

  • Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox. Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox. Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with monkeypox. Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox.
  • Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox.
  • Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with monkeypox.
  • Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox.
  • Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with monkeypox.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • In Central and West Africa, avoid contact with animals that can spread monkeypox virus, usually rodents and primates. Also, avoid sick or dead animals, as well as bedding or other materials they have touched.

READ MORE: Infant diagnosed with monkeypox in DC, officials say

If you are sick with monkeypox:

  • Isolate at home
  • If you have an active rash or other symptoms, stay in a separate room or area away from people or pets you live with, when possible.