RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has expanded the eligibility criteria for Monkeypox vaccination in the Commonwealth.

In the expanded criteria, Virginia residents must meet one of the following requirements:

  • People, of any sexual orientation or gender, who have had anonymous or multiple (more than one) sexual partners in the past two weeks
  • Sex workers of any sexual orientation or gender
  • Staff, of any sexual orientation or gender, at establishments where sexual activity occurs, such as bathhouses, saunas and sex clubs.

The VDH expansion allows eligibility to align more with criteria given by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Richmond and Henrico Health Districts (RHHD) released a statement shortly after the expansion, encouraging people who have recently become eligible for vaccination to fill out a vaccine interest form in order to receive a vaccine.

“I do want to highlight that gay and bisexual men, transwomen, and nonbinary people assigned male at birth who have sex with other people assigned male at birth continue to be most impacted by monkeypox,” Cat Long with the RHHD said in a statement Thursday. “I say this not to stigmatize, but rather to acknowledge who has carried the most burden throughout this recent monkeypox spread and to emphasize our promise to serve those most impacted with resources.”