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Public Health Offers Monkeypox Vaccination

Vaccine in limited supply will be offered in risk tiers

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Hamilton County Public Health and the Cincinnati Health Department will offer its initial limited supply of monkeypox vaccination to high-risk groups in the City and County. To register for vaccination, visit or to complete a risk assessment and registration.

“Similar to the way COVID vaccines were administered at the outset of the pandemic, we will use the risk tiers published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop a risk profile for people desiring vaccine,” according to Dr. Grant Mussman, Interim Health Commissioner for Cincinnati. “We will then contact those eligible to coordinate vaccination.”

Monkeypox is a disease caused by a virus (monkeypox virus) not commonly seen in the United States. Monkeypox can cause a rash which may look like pimples or blisters, sometimes with a flu-like illness. Monkeypox can be spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has healed, all scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of skin has formed. This can take several weeks.

Monkeypox can spread to anyone through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact including:

  • Direct contact with monkeypox rash, scabs, or body fluids from a person with monkeypox. We believe this is currently the most common way that monkeypox is spreading in the U.S.
  • Touching objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox.
  • Contact with respiratory secretions.

This contact can happen during intimate contact including:

  • Oral, anal, and vaginal sex or touching the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus of a person with monkeypox.
  • Hugging, massage, and kissing.
  • Prolonged face-to-face contact.
  • Touching fabrics and objects during sex that were used by a person with monkeypox and that have not been disinfected, such as bedding, towels, fetish gear, and sex toys.

Monkeypox symptoms:

  • You may experience all or only a few of the symptoms of monkeypox.
  • Most people with monkeypox will get a rash.
  • Some people have developed a rash before (or without) flu-like symptoms.
  • Monkeypox symptoms usually start within 3 weeks of exposure to the virus.
    • The flu-like symptoms may include fever, headache, muscle aches and backache, sore throat, cough, swollen lymph nodes, chills, or exhaustion.
    • If someone has flu-like symptoms, they will usually develop a rash 1-4 days later.
  • The rash may be located on or near the genitals or anus but could also be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, or face.
    • The rash will go through several stages, including scabs, before healing. o The rash can look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy.
    • The rash may also be inside the body, including the mouth, vagina, or anus.

If a person feels he/she may have contracted monkeypox, immediately take the following steps:

  • Self-isolate.
  • Avoid sex or being intimate with anyone until you have been checked out by a healthcare provider.
  • Avoid gatherings, especially if they involve close, personal, skin-to-skin contact.
  • Think about the people you have had close, personal, or sexual contact during the last 21 days, including people you met through dating apps. To help stop the spread, you might be asked to share this information if you have received a monkeypox diagnosis.

Seeking Care:

  • CALL your primary care doctor or urgent care before arriving in person. Let them know you have symptoms or have a confirmed exposure. This will allow staff time to prepare for a safe visit for you, them, and other patients.

For uninsured, under-insured and Medicaid recipients – you can visit one of the following Federally Qualified Health Centers:

Lincoln Heights Health Center
1401 Steffen Ave.
Appointments: (513) 588-3623

Mt. Health Family Practice
1411 Compton Rd. Information: (513) 522-7500
Appointments: (513) 588-3623

Cincinnati Medical Center (Equitas Health)
2805 Gilbert Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45206
Phone: (513) 815-4475

Cincinnati Health Department Primary Health Care (Limited availability):

Ambrose H. Clement Health Center
3559 Reading Road, Suite 101

Bobbie Sterne Health Center
1525 Elm Street

Millvale at Hopple Street Health Center
2750 Beekman Street
513-357-7320 during the week
513-352-3191 on Saturday

Northside Health Center
3917 Spring Grove Avenue

Braxton F. Cann Memorial Health Center
5818 Madison Road 513-357-7320

Price Hill Health Center
2136 W. 8th Street

“We’re asking people to be patient while we develop our risk analyses and determine vaccination eligibility,” says Hamilton County Health Commissioner Greg Kesterman. “With vaccine in limited supply, it’s important that we get to the most vulnerable populations. The CDC has developed risk tiers that we will be following to administer vaccine.”

County and city leaders joined forces to work with the Ohio Department of Health to bring vaccination clinics to the region. “We understood the monkeypox threat to our community and know it’s imperative to get in front of it,” said Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval. “City Councilmember Reggie Harris exhibited strong leadership by helping to kick off this effort, and our community health will benefit from his work,” Pureval added.

“We have the tools and experience to effectively mitigate the impact of MPX in our community,” Harris said. “My office, in collaboration with the City Administration and Health Department, Commissioner Driehaus and the County Health Department sounded the alarm and are doing everything in our power to proactively provide vaccines to those most at risk.”

“When we all work together, we can make things happen,” says Hamilton County Commissioner Denise Driehaus. “Initially, the State was going to hold its supply of vaccine and we worked with them to move more quickly to supply vaccine for our community.”