A New Orleans bar is hosting a monkeypox vaccine event on Tuesday, reminiscent of those that were popular when COVID-19 vaccines first became available.
It’s scheduled from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Phoenix Bar, a gay bar open 24 hours a day in Faubourg Marigny. The company says 300 vaccines will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis to people who meet the eligibility criteria. The event is organized in partnership with the Louisiana Bureau of Public Health.
The monkeypox virus is spread primarily through close, intimate contact, with many reported cases involving gay and bisexual men, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Louisiana Department of Health identified the first case of monkeypox in a Louisiana resident on Thursday. Here’s what you need to know about…
Medical staff will administer the first of the two-shot series of the Jynneos vaccine. The two injections should be given 28 days apart. (Learn more about the vaccine.)
HIV testing, COVID vaccines and pre-exposure prophylaxis counseling will also be available at the event, Phoenix said.
After receiving a monkeypox shot, the customer will receive a free booze shot, Phoenix says. The bar also plans to offer free bottled water, snacks, music, and drink specials.
Monkeypox is a potentially serious virus that typically causes flu-like symptoms, swollen lymph nodes and a rash with bumps initially filled with fluid before forming a scab, according to the Louisiana Department of Health. Most infections last two to four weeks.
Are you eligible?
Here are the eligibility criteria for the vaccine, as defined by the Louisiana Department of Health.
- Gay, bisexual, cisgender, or transgender men, and transgender women, and non-binary people designated as male at birth, who have had sex with men and intimate or sexual contact with (1) multiple or anonymous partners during in the last 14 days, or (2) other men in a social or sexual place in the last 14 days
- Anyone who has given or received money or other goods or services in exchange for sex in the past 14 days.
High-risk exposure, based on best practices identified in other states and limited data collected in Louisiana, is considered to be gay, bisexual, gay, or other men who have sex with men who :
- Have had intimate or sexual contact with multiple or anonymous partners in the past 14 days, given or received money or other goods or services in exchange for sex in the past 14 days, or had intimate or sexual contact with other men in a social or sexual place in the past 14 days.
- People of any sex or gender identity who have given or received money or other goods or services in exchange for sex in the past 14 days.
(Learn more about the Phoenix event.)
Public health emergency
On Thursday, US officials declared a public health emergency over the outbreak, which has infected more than 6,600 Americans. Monkeypox has been identified in several people so far in the New Orleans area, and Louisiana officials said there are likely more undiagnosed cases.
Here’s what the state health department says you need to know about monkeypox.
- Muscle pain and back pain
- Swollen lymph nodes
- A rash that may look like pimples or blisters that appears on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body such as the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus .
Sometimes people have a rash first, followed by other symptoms; others only experience a rash. Some infected people in the United States have experienced only isolated rashes in the genital area or other parts of the body.
How is monkeypox spread?
Monkeypox spreads in different ways, officials said. The virus is most often transmitted through direct contact with a rash or wounds of a person infected with the virus.
It can also be spread through contact with clothing, bedding, and other objects used by someone with monkeypox, or through respiratory droplets that can be transmitted during prolonged face-to-face contact, including kissing , hugs or sex.
People who do not have symptoms of monkeypox cannot transmit the virus to others.
According to the CDC, early data suggests that gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men account for a high number of cases. However, anyone who has been in close contact with someone with monkeypox is at risk.
What should people do?
Take basic steps to prevent the spread of monkeypox. Anyone with concerns about exposure or infection should refrain from intimate or close personal contact and seek medical attention. If you don’t have a health care provider, visit a parish health unit near you. Laboratory tests for monkeypox are now widely available, officials said.
Treatments and vaccines are available for monkeypox, but doctors say bureaucracy is hampering their ability to respond to and contain the outbreak.
The treatment for monkeypox, TPOXX, is only available to patients and physicians under special CDC status because it is typically used to treat smallpox, not monkeypox.
The expanded access status forces doctors to wade through more than 100 pages of paperwork each time they prescribe it. Between forms and paperwork, a patient visit to initiate this medication can take anywhere from one to three hours.
As a result, many people who need the drug are not getting the necessary treatment, and bureaucratic hurdles hit uninsured and minority communities particularly hard, said Mary Foote, medical director of emergency preparedness and response. at the New York City Department of Health. and mental hygiene.
Bavarian Nordic’s Jynneos is one of two vaccines that can be given in the United States to prevent monkeypox. The government has many more doses of the other vaccine, an older smallpox vaccine called ACAM2000 which is considered to have a greater risk of side effects and is not recommended for people living with HIV. It is therefore the Jynneos vaccine that officials are using as their main weapon against the epidemic.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the vaccine for people who have already been exposed to the virus and their suspected contacts. This includes men who have recently had sex with men at parties or other gatherings in cities where cases of monkeypox have been identified.
The CDC estimates that about 1.5 million American men are eligible for the vaccine based on their HIV status and other risk factors.
The good news came on Wednesday when federal health officials said thousands more doses of Bavarian Nordic’s vaccine should begin shipping soon.
The US government has purchased more than 1.1 million full doses of the vaccine produced by Bavarian Nordic in Denmark. But the company said earlier this week that it needed permission for an on-site inspection from the Food and Drug Administration before it could begin shipping most of them to the United States.
State and local authorities in the United States say the limited supply of vaccines is not keeping up with the growing number of people requesting appointments.
The Associated Press and CQ-Roll Call via content agency Tribune contributed to this article.
Earlier versions of this article contained eligibility criteria described by The Phoenix Bar, now superseded by criteria from the Louisiana Department of Health.