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RI Dept. Of Public Health Announces New Monkeypox Vaccine Clinics

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The State of Rhode Island is holding new weekday monkeypox vaccine clinics for eligible Rhode Islanders, with the next one being held Monday, November 21 at The Dark Lady.

In an effort to ensure all eligible Rhode Islanders have access to the monkeypox vaccine, the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) has announced three additional vaccination clinics. The State of Rhode Island has held 40 monkeypox vaccine clinics to date that were all free to the public. While most previous clinics were on weekends, these new clinics are all on weekdays in the hopes to accommodate more people in need of receiving the vaccine.

Registration in advance is required for a limited number of appointments. At the time of publication, all three clinics still had appointments available online.

New Clinics And Registration Information:

The Dark Lady, 19 Snow Street, Providence

Monday, Nov. 21 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Beneficent Church, 300 Weybosset St., Providence

Tuesday, Nov. 22 from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m.

AIDS Care Ocean State, 557 Broad St., Providence

Thursday, Nov. 29 from 5-7 p.m.

In a press release forwarded to Options’ editor, Utpala Bandy, the interim director of health stated vaccine access “is a priority in our response to the monkeypox outbreak.” Bandy’s statement continued “unlike several months ago, we now have an ample supply of vaccine” and urged eligible people to get vaccinated. Bandy also reminded the public that vaccination “is one of our most effective tools of prevention.”

Additional clinics were scheduled before this announcement. A full list of clinics scheduled for the next 30 days is available on RIDOH’s website. Open Door Health, the Miriam Hospital Infectious Disease Clinic, Tri-County Health Center, and Thundermist Health Center are also vaccinating patients. RIDOH also stated they are working with independent pharmacies “to make the vaccine available in their locations in the coming weeks.”

The vaccine is administered in a two-dose series, with the second dose administered around 28 days. One is considered fully vaccinated and protected 14 days after your second dose. This writer can also personally attest that the process, from signing up, to attending both visits, for getting a monkeypox vaccination in Rhode Island was a simple, quick, and easy vaccination process. If eligible, it is a simple process of registering and showing up.

Not everyone is eligible to be vaccinated. Rhode Island is vaccinating people who meet any of the following criteria:

  • People who are identified through a case investigation as close contacts of an individual with a known case of monkeypox.

  • People who are age 18 or older AND are:

    • Any Gay, Bi, Queer, or other man who has sex with men (or with people assigned male at birth) OR

    • Any person who has sex with a partner who is Gay, Bisexual, or a man who has sex with men (or with people assigned male at birth) OR

    • People of any gender who are commercial sex workers OR

    • People who work in or have sex in group or public sex venues OR

    • People who are currently on PrEP to prevent HIV* OR

    • Healthcare workers who are caring for individuals with confirmed or suspected monkeypox or are testing or vaccinating people who are at risk for monkeypox OR

    • Laboratory workers who handle monkeypox specimens

*PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, is a medicine that reduces one's chances of getting HIV from sex or injection drug use.

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