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Connecticut rolls out monkeypox vaccine

Thirteen clinics open up on Monday for eligible people.

HARTFORD, Conn. — Thirteen approved clinics opened Monday across the state that will start distributing the monkeypox vaccine to eligible residents.

However, with little supply, the Connecticut Department of Public Health is taking care of the most at-risk patients first. The state received 800 doses and to be fully vaccinated, a person must get two JYNNEOS vaccine doses.

Officials said the following people are eligible to get their two-dose monkeypox vaccine:

  • Have been in close contact with someone with the virus
  • Men who have had sexual contact with other men
  • Have had multiple sexual partners within the last 14 days
  • Must be from Connecticut and 18 years old

The clinic locations and contact information can be found here, with 13 locations opening up now, and two more opening up later in the week.

RELATED: Yes, monkeypox can spread by trying on clothing or changing bed sheets

But how do you know when to get a vaccine?

"If you've been exposed, we really want you to get that vaccine within the first four days. So, time is definitely of the essence with this one. Because if we give it to you within the first four days, your likelihood of converting to having monkeypox is significantly decreased," said Natalie Bycenski, Senior Nurse Manager with Community Health Center, Inc.

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Monkeypox can show up as a rash that can look like pimples or blisters on your face, inside your mouth, and other parts of the body. Normally it lasts about two-four weeks. If you already have lesions, however, you are not eligible to get vaccinated. 

"If you have the opportunity and you are at high risk, definitely going ahead to get vaccinated is super important," Bycenski said. "Unlike COVID where, really you're quarantining for five days at this point, with monkeypox, you are symptomatic until all of your lesions are healed - which could be a month. So you'd really be quarantining for a month, four weeks time frame."

RELATED: When should you get tested for monkeypox?

If you are eligible, it's a two-dose vaccine, 28 days apart. You will get complete protection from the virus two weeks after that second dose.

"It's really transmitted through close contact, especially with any of those lesions. So, not only do you worry about actual touching, but, it can also transfer onto other things in that household," Bycenski said. "So, you're really worried about things like bed linens in particular. So if somebody was taking them off to go wash them, that could be a huge risk for transmission. Also, dinner plates so something that they've eaten off of can also be a huge risk for transmission."

Julia LeBlanc is a reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at jleblanc@fox61.com Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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