Colorado expands eligibility pool for monkeypox vaccine

Colorado is expanding the pool of people eligible to receive the monkeypox vaccine and beginning second doses for those who already have received their first shot.

Due to short supplies, the vaccine previously had only been available to men who knew they were exposed, had multiple male sex partners or been with anonymous partner in the past two weeks.

But the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment on Wednesday announced that the monkeypox vaccine now is available to anyone — regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity — who meets the following criteria:

  • Has had close physical contact with someone who has monkeypox in the last 14 days
  • Is identified as a known high-risk contact of someone who has monkeypox
  • Has had multiple sexual partners in the last 14 days
  • Has had close physical contact in the last 14 days with other people in a venue where anonymous or group sex may occur
  • Has had sexual partners they did not previously know in the last 14 days
  • Was diagnosed with gonorrhea or syphilis in the past three months
  • Who already uses or is eligible for medication to prevent HIV
  • Engages in commercial and/or transactional sex (e.g. sex in exchange for money, shelter, food and other goods or needs)

Those seeking their first dose of the monkeypox vaccine as well as those who already received the first dose at least 28 days ago and would like to get the second dose can now schedule appointments using the state’s automated online system.

The state health department is contacting those who received a first dose by text and email to let them know the second dose is now available.

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