(September 21, 2022): The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment expanded the criteria for monkeypox vaccine eligibility this week, removing the 14-day time period previously associated with risk factors. The expanded eligibility also considers ongoing or potential future risks, as well as includes people living with HIV. The action resulted from an increased supply of the Jynneos monkeypox vaccine.

Those who qualify for the vaccination are:

  • Anyone who has had close physical contact with someone who has monkeypox in the last 14 days.
  • Anyone who:
    • has multiple or anonymous sexual partners
    • has close physical contact with other people in a venue where anonymous or group sex may occur,
    • was diagnosed with gonorrhea or syphilis in the past six months, or Is living with HIV, or
    • uses or is eligible for medication to prevent HIV
    • Engages in commercial and/or transactional sex
  • Anyone identified by public health as a known high-risk contact of someone who has monkeypox.

This change in eligibility allows people to proactively protect themselves and their community before they are exposed.

Monkeypox is a serious disease and over 290 cases have been identified in Colorado since May. To date, two cases have been identified in La Plata County residents. The disease can cause fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, a general feeling of discomfort, exhaustion, and severe rash. Vaccination will lower your chance of getting monkeypox if you are exposed. If you are experiencing symptoms of monkeypox, contact your health care provider.

San Juan Basin Public Health has Jynneos vaccine available and can administer doses to eligible individuals at both its Durango and Pagosa Springs offices. Call (970) 247-5702 to find out if you are eligible and to schedule an appointment. Sign up to receive vaccine notifications here.

For more information, please visit https://sjbpublichealth.org/monkeypox/.