ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Monkeypox vaccine appointments will be made available for eligible residents in Monroe County starting Monday, local health officials announced Friday.

  • Monroe County Immunization Clinic, 111 Westfall Road
    • Monday, July 25, and Friday, July 29
  • Monroe County Sexual Health Clinic, Bullshead Plaza, 855 W. Main Street
    • Tuesday, July 26, and Thursday, July 28

According to officials, only the following individuals are eligible to schedule an appointment:

  • You are a gay or bisexual male, a man who has sex with men, and/or transgender, gender non-conforming, or gender non-binary AND,
  • Age 18 or older AND,
  • Have had multiple or anonymous sex partners in the last 14 days.

Appointments are expected to fill up quickly and walk-ins are not permitted. Those who are diagnosed with monkeypox are not eligible for the vaccine.

The virus was originally detected in Monroe County on July 14. Officials say a male contracted it after travel outside the country. Since then, two more cases of monkeypox have been identified.

According to health officials, the risk of contagion for the general public currently remains low.

Older adults, people with weakened immune systems, pregnant women, and children under the age of 8 are at higher risk of experiencing severe symptoms if they contract the virus.

Although monkeypox is not classified as a sexually-transmitted disease, authorities say patterns of exposure show that men who have sex with men are at higher risk of contracting the virus.

New York State is currently reporting the most number of monkeypox cases across the nation.

Monkeypox is rarely fatal but is uniquely unpleasant. According to health officials, there have been no deaths from the disease. Spreading occurs primarily through respiratory droplets.

The Monroe County Health Department listed the following ways that the disease can spread:

  • Direct contact with monkeypox sores or rashes through intimate or skin-to-skin contact
  • Contact with objects or fabrics (e.g., clothing, bedding, towels) that have been used by someone with monkeypox
  • Respiratory droplets or oral fluids from someone with monkeypox; historically, these respiratory droplets can only travel a few feet and are of primary concern among those who have very close or prolonged contact

A total of 600 vaccine doses were delivered to Monroe County last week. An additional supply of the shot is expected to make its way to more pop-up appointments in the future.