Health Services will host an on-campus monkeypox vaccination clinic hosted by the Rhode Island Department of Health on October 15. The clinic will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the multipurpose room of the Health and Wellness Center.
Vaccine eligibility criteria in Rhode Island include men who have sex with men, people who have sex with men who have sex with men, sex workers, and healthcare and laboratory personnel who interact with monkeypox patients or specimens.
Monkeypox is a “rare, but potentially serious viral illness” that begins with “flu-like symptoms and swollen lymph nodes and progresses to a rash on the face and body”, according to RIDOH. There have been 74 confirmed cases of monkeypox in Rhode Island.
The vaccination clinic is for those in the Brown community and beyond, including students at the Rhode Island School of Design, wrote Vanessa Britto MSc’96, associate vice president for campus life and executive director health and wellness, in an email to The Herald.
“We want to help protect individual and community health, in this case by making the vaccine more readily available to students and community members,” Britto wrote. “Additionally, since vaccine supplies have been so limited, we have determined that it would be helpful to co-promote this clinic with RISD so that both student communities can be served.”
RIDOH “just opened up new slots for us and they gave us a few extra hours, so we are delighted with that,” said director of nursing Christine Benvie. “There was a good response” from the ministry, she added.
Students with symptoms of monkeypox should self-isolate in accordance with guidelines from RIDOH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to a August 12 announcement health services.
“An undergraduate student who lives on campus would be helped to move into temporary housing,” Britto wrote. “We would also offer guidance on returning home given the length of isolation, if that was more feasible.”
Additionally, students who do not live in dorms would self-isolate in their off-campus housing, and health services would provide specific isolation advice and recommendations tailored to the students’ situation, according to Britto.
Brown’s monkeypox policies continue to evolve, said Clinical Director of Health Services Adam Pallant.
“What we say today might not be the same tomorrow,” Pallant said. “As the possibilities for treatment expand and the possibilities for testing expand, we will likely take on a bigger role if we were to be confronted with (monkey pox). But, if someone has monkeypox and lives on campus, we have the option to isolate them until they are released from isolation per CDC guidelines.
Britto recommends members of the Brown community who are eligible for the vaccine to receive it.
“If an eligible person is hesitant to receive (the vaccine), the best advice that health services would offer is to speak to a healthcare provider or doctor about those hesitations and discuss the issue of vaccination together,” he said. wrote Britto. “Making an informed decision is important, and if a lack of knowledge underlies someone’s hesitation, for example, we would want them to be able to fill the gap with useful and accurate information. “
Students can register online for the next clinic.