COLUMBIA, MO (KMIZ)
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are approximately 124 cases of Monkeypox in Missouri based on Oct. 14 data.
There are 6.2 million people who live in the Show-Me state.
Boone County Public Health and Social Services will be holding a walk-in vaccination clinic on Wednesday, October 19 from 5-8 p.m. at the Arch & Column pub.
No appointment is necessary and members of the public are encouraged to attend.
According to an epidemiologist with the Department of Health and Senior Services, Nathan Koffarnus, “it behaves a bit like a sexually transmitted infection,” he said. “Although it’s not exclusively transmitted that way, it’s basically skin-to-skin contact, which could be something completely non-sexual. We’ve had stories of people dancing in clubs without shirts, which kind of stuff.”
Koffarnus as well as the health department are pushing for people in high-risk groups to get vaccinated.
“We’ve seen a trend of men who have sex with other men being a primary Monkeypox contracting group,” Koffarnus said. “It’s not necessarily the only risk group, but it’s also people who have multiple partners.”
According to Koffarnus, states with larger cities and populations of infected people received the vaccines first. Now, since infection rates have declined since August, other states have the option of vaccinating people outside of those who have had close contact with the disease.
“We can do preventative vaccinations now. Missouri was a bit on hold, but now that things have calmed down a bit, the government has given us better access to vaccines,” Koffarnus said.
People under 18 will need parental permission to get vaccinated. No insurance information is required and vaccines will be given free of charge.
Columbia’s Department of Public Health and Human Services provided a list on its website explaining what makes a person eligible for the vaccine. Eligibility list is available here.