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Monkeypox: Houston Health Department expands requirements for who can get vaccine to high-risk groups

Those at high risk will be split into 2 groups of people, with vaccine priority given to the first group. The second group includes people with STDs or taking PrEP.

HOUSTON — The Houston Health Department is allowing two groups of people to get the monkeypox vaccine, but they are prioritizing the first group.

Group one is for those who have had contact with someone who has monkeypox, and people who went to a venue where there was a high exposure to the virus through skin and sexual contact.

RELATED: CDC promises more vaccines as it ramps up monkeypox response

For most of these cases, you'll be contacted by the health department.

The criteria for the vaccine is being expanded to a second group, which includes those who are at high-risk of getting the virus.

That group includes those diagnosed with gonorrhea or early syphilis in the last three months. It also includes people who have attended, or worked at, a commercial sex venue in the last 21 days.

Finally, those on the HIV prevention medication, PrEP, are also eligible.

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"We, like, always take a good history to make sure that we're providing it to those who are truly needing of the vaccine," Porfirio Villarreal with the Houston Health Department said. "Because we have limited supply, we want to make sure that we provide it to the people who are really at risk."

HHD said because the vaccine is a two-dose series, the 5,000 doses they received Friday can really only serve half of that. They're hoping to get more shipments of the vaccine soon.

For more information about getting a monkeypox vaccine and to see if you qualify, call the Houston Health Department at 832-393-4220 or the Harris County Health Department at 832-927-0707.

Janelle Bludau on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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