With a low vaccination rate for monkeypox in New Hampshire, the state Department of Health and Human Services has updated and expanded the criteria for eligibility to reach more of those who are at risk.

According to the CDC, 295 doses have been reported to be administered in the Granite State as of September 20. 1,596 have been administered in Maine.

The vaccine, which is administered in a two dose series, is now available to anyone who believes they are at risk. A healthcare provider can discuss a referral, or an appointment can be made with a vaccine clinic.

“JYNNEOS vaccine uptake has been low in New Hampshire, and with increasing supply, we want to make it as easy as possible for people who may be at risk to get vaccinated to protect themselves from infection,” NH State Epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan said in a statement.

Examples of Monkeypox rash
Examples of Monkeypox rash (CDC)

The monkeypox virus continues to spread primarily through sexual networks among persons who identify as gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men, according to Chan.

The state recommends these individuals get the vaccine:

  • Any person who identifies as gay, bisexual, queer, or is a man who has sex with men (MSM) and believes they are at risk for monkeypox virus infection.
  • A person of any gender or sexual orientation whom a medical provider thinks is at increased risk for monkeypox virus infection.
  • Persons who report a known exposure to the monkeypox virus in the prior 14 days.

Besides municipal health departments, the vaccine is available at eight Convenient MD locations on the Seacoast in Dover, Portsmouth, and Stratham, plus Bedford, Belmont, Concord, Keene, Littleton, Londonderry, Manchester, Merrimack, Nashua, and Windham.

As of Monday, there are 29 confirmed cases in New Hampshire, 9 in Maine, and 381 in Massachusetts, according to the CDC.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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