COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Doses for the vaccine against monkeypox remain scarce, so much so that appointments for a Columbus Public Health clinic Thursday were filled in about an hour.

Columbus Public Health is only offering the vaccine to those considered high risk:

  • Men who have sex with men who:
    • Are HIV positive or been diagnosed with an STI in the past 12 months;
    • Have had multiple anonymous sex partners in the past two weeks;
    • Have attended a sex party or bathhouse in the past two weeks.
  • Anyone who exchanges sex for money, goods, or services.

Information on future clinics or appointments can be found online or by calling 614-645-1519. To qualify, a person must live in Franklin County, be at least 18 years old, and meet one of the criteria listed above.

Walk-ins will not be accepted at Thursday’s clinic.

The health department is also working on proving the vaccine in limited doses to community partners and healthcare providers and is working to secure more doses of the vaccine for future clinics.

Monkeypox cases in Ohio

According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention map, there are 30 cases of monkeypox in Ohio.

The most cases are in New York, with 1,617. Total confirmed cases nationally of monkeypox are 6,326 and every state has at least one case.

Raves, parties, clubs, and festivals

Festivals, events, and concerts where attendees are fully clothed and unlikely to share skin-to-skin contact are safer, reports the CDC. Activities like kissing strangers can spread monkeypox, according to the CDC.

A rave, party, or club where there is minimal clothing and where there is direct, personal, often skin-to-skin contact has some risk. Avoid any rash you see on others and minimize skin-to-skin contact.

Parties with intimate, anonymous contact with multiple partners create a higher likelihood of spreading monkeypox, the CDC advised.

If you feel sick or have a rash, stay home.

Signs and symptoms

Monkeypox symptoms usually start within three weeks of exposure to the virus, the CDC reports. If someone has flu-like symptoms, they will usually develop a rash one to four days later.

The virus can spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has healed, all scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of skin has formed. The illness typically lasts two to four weeks.

Symptoms according to the CDC are:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion
  • Respiratory symptoms (e.g. sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)
  • A rash that may be located on or near the genitals but could also be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth.

You may experience all or only a few symptoms. Sometimes, people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms. Others only experience a rash, but most people with monkeypox will get a rash. Some people have developed a rash before (or without) other symptoms, the CDC website said.

The rash will go through several stages, including scabs, before healing. The rash can look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy.

Who should get the monkeypox vaccine

People who are aware that one of their sexual partners in the past two weeks has been diagnosed with monkeypox or people who had multiple sexual partners in the past two weeks in an area with known monkeypox should seek out the vaccine and be vaccinated when it becomes available.

If you’ve had a high degree of exposure to someone who has been diagnosed with monkeypox, or you work in a job that exposes you to it, you should be vaccinated, the Ohio Department of Health advises on its website.

What’s in the monkeypox vaccine?

The smallpox vaccine can also prevent monkeypox, which is in the family of orthopoxviruses. The vaccine is made using weakened live vaccinia virus and cannot cause smallpox, monkeypox, or any other disease.

Jynneos is the name of the vaccine. It’s usually administered as a series of two injections four weeks apart. People who have received smallpox vaccine in the past might only need one dose.

Booster doses are recommended every two or 10 years if a person remains at continued risk for exposure to smallpox, monkeypox, or other orthopoxviruses. Your health care provider can give you more information.