SALT LAKE COUNTY (ABC4) – As Monkeypox cases grow, officials in Salt Lake County say they don’t have enough vaccine supply to meet demand.
But a clinic Saturday will offer hundreds of vaccines to those in the highest risk group.
“We don’t have as much vaccine as we would like,” said Nicholas Rupp, a spokesperson with Salt Lake County Health Dept.
As of Thursday evening, 32 men have tested positive for Monkeypox in Salt Lake County — in total, Utah’s case count is 40.
“You are not eligible for vaccine unless you’re a man who has sex with men and you have multiple partners, so many people are not eligible for the vaccine,” said Rupp.
“This clinic is exclusively for the highest risk group of people — the people we know are experiencing Monkeypox transmission,” added Rupp.
Those who’ve tested positive often have flu-like symptoms followed by a rash one to three days later, he said. But Monkeypox, said Rupp, isn’t easily transmitted.
“You’re not going to get Monkeypox by passing someone in the grocery store. You’re not going to get Monkeypox by being near someone on a bus,” said Rupp.
“The primary way Monkeypox is transmitted is through direct skin-to-skin contact with a Monkeypox rash or lesion,” added Rupp.
He said respiratory transmission is possible, but research is ongoing.
“Everything we know indicates that it has to be very close, very long contact. Several hours, and within inches of someone’s face,” said Rupp.
As for Saturday’s clinic, it’s 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Salt Lake Public Health Center. According to the website, “The August 6 clinic will operate on a mass, walk-in basis with no appointments scheduled.
People who do not meet the eligibility criteria above will be turned away from the August 6 clinic.”