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State to open monkeypox vaccine clinics Monday

The state will open more than a dozen sites across Connecticut as monkeypox cases slowly rise.

HARTFORD, Conn. — The state will open 13 monkeypox vaccination clinics Monday. The Center for Disease Control reports 33 cases in the state as of Sunday with more than 5,000 across the country. The first Connecticut case was reported on July 5th.

The site openings are below. Appointments are required.

  • Anchor Health Initiative: 2200 Whitney Ave, Ste 290, Hamden, CT 06518 
  • Circle Care Center: 618 West Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06850 
  • Community Health and Wellness Center: 469 Migeon Ave, Torrington Ct 06790 
  • Community Health Center of Clinton: 114 East Main Street, Clinton, CT 06413
  • Community Health Center of Danbury: 8 Delay Street, Danbury, CT 06810  
  • Community Health Center of Enfield: 5 N Main Street, Enfield, CT 06082 
  • Community Health Center of Middletown: 675 Main Street, Middletown, CT 06457 
  • Community Health Center of New London: 5 Shaw’s Cove, New London, CT 06320 
  • Community Health Center of Stamford: 141 Franklin St, Stamford, Ct 06901
  • Fair Haven Community Health Care: 374 Grand Avenue, New Haven CT 06513  
  • Hartford Gay & Lesbian Health Collective: 1841 Broad Street, Hartford, CT 06114 
  • Intercommunity, Inc: 16 Coventry St, Hartford, CT, 06112 
  • Staywell Health Center: 80 Phoenix Avenue, Waterbury, CT 06702

Clinics are expected to open in Bridgeport, Willimantic, and Norwich.

RELATED: Lamont, health leaders say state ready to distribute monkeypox vaccine starting Monday

To be eligible for vaccination, someone has to be at least 18 years old and a resident of Connecticut. Anyone who was exposed or came in close contact and is not experiencing symptoms is recommended to get vaccinated. Those with symptoms should contact their healthcare provider. 

Men who have sex with other men and have had multiple sexual partners in the last two weeks are eligible. This is because the state says the most recent cases are in men who identify as being LGBTQ+.

The disease spreads from direct contact with the infectious rash, scab, or body fluid. It can also pass by touching items the infected person's rash or fluid touched. It can be passed down from mother to baby through pregnancy. Monkeypox can also be spread through respiratory secretions "during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex," the state says.

Health Commissioner Dr. Manisha Juthani said Thursday more than a thousand doses were allocated this month with more to arrive. 800 will be going out Monday. She said vaccine supply with increase as demand does.

"Our goal is to try to get as many people that could be high risk for this disease to be covered by this vaccine as quickly as possible," she said. "We will build that capacity as we see need."

There have not been any reported deaths in the United States from monkeypox but there have been overseas. The World Health Organization says complications can include loss of vision, inflammation of the lungs and brain, and other potentially life-threatening conditions like sepsis.

The CDC says scientists are still looking into whether it can be spread when someone doesn't have symptoms and what other means it could potentially transmit as through urine, for example. The disease can last upwards of four weeks.

New York has the most number of cases with more than 1,300 across the state as of Sunday. The New York City Health Department declared it a public health emergency.

RELATED: NYC health commissioner pushes WHO to change monkeypox name to avoid stigmatization of LGBTQIA+ community

Governor Ned Lamont said they have the testing capacity and it is similar to the COVID-19 pandemic of track and trace. 

"Be careful and unlike 2 1/2 years ago we have the tools in place to keep you safe and those you have been in close contact with," he said. "If you have been in close personal contact and you were notified in terms of our contact tracing come and get a vaccine."

Connecticut residents tell FOX61 they would get vaccinated if the disease was more of a concern for them.

"If I felt like more cases in the area were around maybe I’d get vaccinated for it. But personally, I don’t really think it’s something that concerns me," Katelyn Tryon, Waterford, said. "I’d encourage people to get vaccinated possibly if they feel like it’s a threat and if you don’t then don’t get the vaccine."

Christina Hansen says she's aware of the disease and the growing concern of it.

"Currently I’m not thinking about getting a vaccine because, to my knowledge, it’s not something that I’m concerned about at the moment," the Monroe resident said. "I would say if you’re concerned about it go get the vaccine."

For testing or to report cases of suspected monkeypox, call CT DPH Epidemiology at 860-509-7994, or 860-509-8000 if after hours. For more on monkeypox in Connecticut, click here

Tony Black is a multi-media journalist at FOX61 News. He can be reached at tblack@fox61.com. Follow him on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

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