Michael Suguitan/Sun File Photo

Members of the community gathered at Cayuga Medical Center on Wednesday, April 9, in a send off for health workers heading to New York Presbyterian Hospital to support COVID-19 efforts in New York City. The spread of monkeypox has joined COVID-19 as a pressing health crisis.

September 6, 2022

Monkeypox Vaccine Available in Tompkins County

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As of Sept. 2, Monkeypox vaccines are available in Tompkins County for high-risk individuals. The vaccine, which is taken in two doses, will be distributed at the Tompkins County Health Department. 

Monkeypox, a viral disease which can cause flu-like symptoms, rashes and sores and is contracted through direct contact with the bodily fluids, respiratory droplets, or clothing of an infected person or animal, was declared to be a global health emergency by the World Health Organization in July 2022. In response, the Biden administration has boosted vaccine supply. 

The vaccine comes less than a month after three cases of monkeypox were reported in the county, adding monkeypox to the list of pandemics students face this fall. As of Sept. 6, 3,326 cases of monkeypox have been confirmed in New York State.

Because the vaccine is limited to high risk individuals, receiving it requires qualifying based on New York State-determined categories such as having recent exposure to a suspected or confirmed monkeypox case in the last 14 days, individuals at high risk for exposure (including LGBTQ+ identifying individuals, and men who have sex with men who have engaged in intimate or skin-to-skin contact in the last 14 days) and individuals who are in a social network that is experiencing monkeypox cases. 

The health department is encouraging high-risk individuals to get the vaccine, as receiving the vaccine within four days of monkeypox exposure can decrease an individual’s risk of infection while receiving it within 14 days of exposure can still reduce symptoms. 
For Cornellians, monkeypox vaccines will complement Cornell Health’s efforts to deal with any student cases, although there is as of yet no known outbreak of monkeypox among Cornell students.