This story has been updated with the latest information on who can get a vaccine.
As Tampa Bay and the nation grapple with an outbreak of monkeypox, the Florida Department of Health is prioritizing who can be vaccinated, like it initially did with COVID-19 shots.
The state has received shipments of Jynneos, a two-dose monkeypox vaccine, from the federal government.
These groups are currently eligible:
• Close contacts of infected individuals.
• Lab and health care workers at high risk of exposure.
• Men who have sex with men.
In September, health officials in Hillsborough and Pasco counties added that “other high-risk groups” are also eligible, but there’s no specific definition of this category and eligibility is decided on a case-by-case basis. A woman who has frequent sexual contact with a man who also has sex with men would fall into this category, according to a spokesperson for the Florida Department of Health in Pasco County.
Jynneos can be administered before or after a monkeypox exposure. The second dose is given four weeks after the first.
Here’s how Tampa Bay residents can track down the vaccine, which is being offered for free.
People can call (727) 824-6931 to check if vaccines are available at the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County.
If doses are available, eligible residents can get vaccinated at health department locations in St. Petersburg, Pinellas Park, Largo or Clearwater. Have a photo ID and go to the front desk to register. Vaccines are offered on a walk-in basis on weekdays.
The department has also distributed doses to Metro Inclusive Health; a Tampa Bay area LGBTQ-focused health and wellness center; the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which has clinics in St. Petersburg and Safety Harbor; Love the Golden Rule, a primary care office in St. Petersburg that specializes in HIV and Hepatitis C treatment; and the CAN Community Health clinic in Clearwater, a spokesperson said in August.
Eligible residents can call (727) 619-0300 to schedule an appointment at the Florida Department of Health in Pasco County, which is providing doses, a spokesperson said.
CVS and Walgreens are not offering the vaccine, spokespeople confirmed.
Have you struggled to get vaccinated against monkeypox? Contact staff writer Sam Ogozalek at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your story.