Public Health Provides Update on Monkeypox Vaccine

Published on August 11, 2022

The Arlington County Public Health Division (ACPHD) continues to respond to the ongoing spread of the monkeypox virus and is working with community partners to ensure those who have been exposed or are at highest risk of exposure to monkeypox receive a vaccination.

ACPHD continues to provide monkeypox vaccine to close contacts of known cases and those at increased risk of exposure to reduce their chances of developing monkeypox. ACPHD has been offering the vaccine since late June and is currently operating clinics by appointment only six days a week. As of Aug. 11, 2022, ACPHD has administered 699 total doses of monkeypox vaccine.

Vaccine appointment invitations are being extended to those who have completed the Monkeypox Vaccine Interest Survey (open to all Virginia residents) AND meet the eligibility criteria. As new vaccine shipments arrive, ACPHD will issue new appointment invitations. The eligibility criteria may change as the outbreak evolves and based on vaccine supply.

Vaccine supply remains limited nationwide. ACPHD has been working with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), which authorizes the priority groups for the monkeypox vaccine and allocates vaccine doses to local health districts. At present, to be eligible you must be:

  • A Virginia resident; AND
  • 18 years of age or older; AND
  • Within the last 14 days are:
    • Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men and have had multiple or anonymous sexual partners; OR
    • Transgender women and nonbinary persons assigned male at birth who have sex with men; OR
    • Sex workers (of any sex); OR
    • Staff (of any sex) at establishments where sexual activity occurs (e.g., bathhouses, saunas, sex clubs); OR
    • Persons (of any gender or sexual orientation) who attend sex-on-premises venues (e.g., bathhouses, sex clubs).

If a person had monkeypox, they likely have some protection against another infection and are currently not eligible to be vaccinated.

Monkeypox is spread primarily through close or intimate skin-to-skin contact. Anyone can get and spread monkeypox, AND the current cases have occurred primarily in the VDH-identified priority groups listed above. People who currently have multiple or anonymous sex partners within these social networks are at a higher risk of exposure to the Monkeypox virus.

If someone has a new or unexpected rash or sores, they should work with their healthcare provider to determine the cause. Healthcare providers in Arlington can visit ACPHD’s Monkeypox for Healthcare Providers website for more information and how to contact us should they have questions. 

For the latest information on monkeypox and the vaccine, please visit ACPHD's website and the VDH and the CDC websites.