RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond and Henrico Health Districts (RHHD) is administering its first few Monkeypox vaccines Wednesday — and has launched an online form to gauge interest in the vaccine from the community.
RHHD received a shipment of 160 JYNNEOS Monkeypox vaccines on July 19 and is vaccinating those who are considered at a higher risk to contract the disease.
“We know that there are many folks in the community who are ready to get vaccinated against monkeypox and we’re eager to vaccinate them,” said Deputy Director of RHHD Dr. Melissa Viray. “Thankfully, there were vaccines already developed… we are prioritizing individuals with the highest risk while supply is low, but are hopeful that we’ll continue to get an increasing supply in the coming weeks and months.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first case of Monkeypox in Virginia on May 27 and the first presumed case of Monkeypox in the central Virginia region was reported in mid-July. Since then, there has been a total of 56 cases in the commonwealth, according to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH).
Given the recent rise in cases, demand for the vaccine has been growing. Demand was so high in New York City that the website hosting the city’s appointment system crashed. In Richmond, an online interest form has been made available by RHHD and VDH. Those who complete the form are not guaranteed a vaccine, but will be added to a list to potentially receive a vaccine depending on risk factors and availability.