Departments & Services > Health > Health Department News

8/1/2022 - Monkeypox Vaccine

Connecticut Department Of Public Health Provides Update On Monkeypox Vaccines

HARTFORD, Conn.—The Connecticut Department of Public Health announced at a Thursday morning news conference that it will be launching a new program with partners from across the state to administer doses of the monkeypox vaccine starting Monday, Aug. 1.

“This is a national model that has been developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and it is consistent with our neighboring jurisdictions,” said DPH Commissioner Manisha Juthani, MD. “DPH is partnering with 15 community-based clinics to expand the availability and efficient delivery of the vaccine to those who need it the most.”

Commissioner Juthani stressed that the number of community-based clinics are subject to change and that the clinic locations will be posted Monday morning on the DPH monkeypox webpage. Connecticut has received a limited number of the JYNNEOS vaccine based on the number of confirmed cases, as of July 27, Connecticut has 28 confirmed monkeypox cases.

JYNNEOS is a vaccine licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to prevent monkeypox infection in people ages 18 years and older. When properly administered before or after a recent exposure, JYNNEOS can be an effective tool for protecting people against monkeypox illness.

“Connecticut did not receive a large supply of vaccine like many larger cities throughout the country,” Commissioner Juthani said. “In late June, the federal government announced a phased approach to providing the limited amount of monkeypox vaccine to each state.  As more vaccine is allocated to Connecticut, we are working to make it available to a larger group of at-risk persons. Based on the supply we receive, DPH is committed to vaccinating as many people as possible to prevent disease.”

Commissioner Juthani stressed that the vaccines are not available on a walk-in basis and that appointments must be made by contacting clinics directly. According to recommendations from the CDC, the eligibility criteria for the monkeypox vaccine includes:

1. Persons identified by state and local public health as being close contacts to someone who has tested positive for monkeypox

2. Connecticut residents who meet the following criteria:

  • Men who have sex with men, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender non-conforming, or gender non-binary AND
  • Age 18 or older AND
  • Have had multiple or anonymous sex partners in the last 14 days

    If eligible to be vaccinated, persons should especially consider getting vaccinated if:

  • Your partners are showing symptoms of monkeypox, such as a rash or sores
  • You met recent partners through online applications or social media platforms (such as Grindr, Tinder or Scruff), or at clubs, raves, sex parties, saunas or other large gatherings
  • You have a condition that may increase your risk for severe disease (HIV or another condition that weakens your immune system, history of atopic dermatitis or eczema)

Commissioner Juthani said that well before DPH announced the state’s first confirmed case on July 5, that the agency had been designing a four-pronged approach to monkeypox that includes:

  • Education - Providing updated information to healthcare providers, community providers and the public through regular communications, webinars, dedicated monkeypox website
  • Testing - Continuing to offer monkeypox testing at the State Public Health Laboratory, along with five commercial laboratories
  • Treatment - Facilitating rapid access by pre-positioning medication in the state
  • Vaccine - Implementing a network of clinics to ensure rapid access to vaccine for eligible persons in Connecticut

“Early on, DPH has been educating health care providers on the evolving outbreak including how to recognize potential monkeypox rashes and the expanding availability of monkeypox testing through weekly email communications,” Commissioner Juthani said.  “The plan also included messaging to our community partners including those who interact with and serve our LGBTQ+ residents so they have the latest information to share with their clients and stakeholders.”

For more information about monkeypox, please visit the CDC monkeypox webpage and the DPH monkeypox webpage