JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – On Friday, the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) announced expanded eligibility for those recommended to receive the monkeypox vaccine.

As of September 8, there have been 45 reported monkeypox cases in Mississippi. While anyone exposed to a person with monkeypox is at risk for infection, health officials said most cases in Mississippi are among gay, bisexual men and others who identify as men who have sex with men.

Of the total cases reported in Mississippi, 93 percent identify as male, 93 percent are African Americans, 67 percent are living with HIV, and the median age is 31.

Individuals 18 years or older may be eligible for vaccination if they:

  • Have been notified or are aware of close, intimate or sexual contact with someone diagnosed with monkeypox
  • Identify as gay, bisexual, or as other men who have sex with men, or are transgender individuals
  • Have multiple or anonymous sex partners
  • Attend events or venues where monkeypox may be transmitted (for example, by skin-to-skin contact or sex on-site)
  • Are living with HIV
  • Have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the prior 90 days

Vaccination appointments are available to those who meet the above criteria.

The vaccine, a two-dose series, is available at nine designated county health department clinics. Patients can call the Monkeypox Call Center at 1-877-978-6453 to determine their eligibility and to make a vaccination appointment at one of the participating health department clinics. Appointments can only be made through the call center.