Clinic business

Monkeypox Vaccination Clinic Opens in Norwalk at Circle Care Center

NORWALK – The city is advising residents on how to prevent the spread of monkeypox and how to access the vaccine.

In a statement Tuesday, the Norwalk Health Department shared information about local resources and vaccine providers.

Cases of monkeypox, a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus, began appearing in the United States in May, with 35 cases in Connecticut on Monday, according to the state Department of Public Health.

“To help stop the spread of monkeypox, CT DPH has partnered with 15 health care providers to deliver vaccines statewide, including Circle Care Center, a Norwalk medical provider that provides medical and high-quality LGBTQ-affirming sexual health care provider,” the city’s statement read said.

Circle Care Center is the only state-sponsored clinic in Norwalk that offers monkeypox vaccinations, according to DPH.

Circle Care and other providers can administer vaccines to eligible groups, including: people who have been exposed to someone diagnosed with monkeypox virus and gay, bisexual or other men who have sex with men, and/or transgender, gender non-conforming or non-binary and have had multiple or anonymous sexual partners in the past 14 days.

The vaccine should be given within four days of the exposure date to have the best chance of preventing the onset of the disease, according to the statement.

“There is currently a limited supply of JYNNEOS vaccine and vaccination is prioritized for those most at risk of exposure to someone with monkeypox,” according to DPH. “If you recently had monkeypox, you probably have some protection against another infection and vaccination is not recommended.”

Starting Monday, the state began administering 800 doses of the vaccine, with clinics being held in Stamford, Danbury, Norwalk, New Haven, Bridgeport, Waterbury, Hartford, Hamden, Clinton, Enfield, New London, Middletown, Enfield, Torrington and Willimantic. .

On Monday, 13 clinics across the state opened their phone lines for monkeypox vaccination appointments and were inundated with requests and questions.

“Monkeypox virus is in the same virus family as smallpox and symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms but less severe,” the city statement said. “The virus is rarely fatal, but the infection can be painful and long-lasting.”

The virus is spread by direct contact with scabs or sores of an infected person, respiratory secretions during prolonged face-to-face or intimate contact, or contact with objects such as clothing that have previously been in contact with the rash of an infected person, according to the city statement.

Symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills, exhaustion, and a rash that may look like pimples or blisters on the face, inside the mouth and on other parts of the body, such as the hands, feet, chest, genitals or anus, according to the statement.

“Due to the relatively low number of cases statewide and related privacy concerns, cases are not being reported at the city or town level,” Norwalk spokeswoman Michelle Woods Matthews said. .

Nationwide, there are 5,811 confirmed cases of monkeypox, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The illness can last two to four weeks and is not related to chickenpox, according to DPH.