Miami-Dade officials inform the public about monkeypox vaccination efforts

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava held a news conference on monkeypox vaccination efforts at a vaccination site in Miami Beach Wednesday afternoon.

“It’s real, it’s serious and it’s here,” Levine Cava said.

The mayor was joined by local doctors and other city and county officials.

“Listen, be careful, arm yourself with knowledge and, if necessary, give us your arms for a vaccine,” Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said.

According to a statement from the mayor’s office, Miami-Dade has received a limited supply of monkeypox vaccine.

Beginning Wednesday at 8 a.m., high-risk residents can make an appointment to get vaccinated at the county website or by calling 1-833-875-0900.

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Appointments will be available from two locations, one at 224 23rd St. in Miami Beach and one at Tropical Park in southwest Miami-Dade. The county said it is working to open additional sites as more vaccine becomes available.

High-risk groups include:

• Selected laboratory personnel and health care personnel at high risk of contracting monkeypox

• Close contacts of monkeypox cases

• Immunocompromised MSM (men who have sex with men) with HIV (<200 CD4d white blood cells per ml³)

• Other MSM with a recent history of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)

• All other MSM with HIV who had potential exposure

County officials said they intend to offer the standard two doses of the vaccine, spaced 28 days apart, despite the Florida Department of Health stating Tuesday that only the first doses would be administered until more vaccines become available.

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The push to increase immunizations comes just before the school year.

“I expect to see children with infections,” said Dr. Marcelo Laufer, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.

He encourages parents of children who have a new rash or skin lesion to check with their primary care providers. However, he believes monkeypox will be limited in schools because it requires skin-to-skin contact.

Still, Laufer says children are at risk for more serious illness.

Según Associated Press, monkeypox is not another pandemic. The disease doesn’t spread as fast as COVID-19 “and stopping it won’t require dramatic interventions like COVID-19 lockdowns.”

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