Long Beach further expands monkeypox vaccine eligibility

With monkeypox cases rising, though at a slower rate than in August, vaccine eligibility is again expanding, health officials announced Monday.

The expanded eligibility is in line with the Los Angeles County public health department, which announced identical guidelines on Sept. 8.

Effective today, people living with HIV, especially people with uncontrolled or advanced HIV disease, are now eligible to get the JYNNEOS vaccine, according to the new guidelines from the city’s health department.

In addition, people who had skin-to-skin or intimate contact with someone with suspected or confirmed monkeypox, even if not yet confirmed by the health department, and people of any gender or sexual orientation who engage in commercial and/or transactional sex (e.g., sex in exchange for money, shelter and/or other goods or needs) are also now eligible to get vaccinated, according to health officials.

Gay or bisexual men and transgender people who have sex with men or transgender people are also now eligible for vaccination, according to the health department.

As of Monday, there are 95 confirmed and probable cases of monkeypox in Long Beach, according to the city’s health department. Three have required hospitalization, and all are isolating and recovering at home or have recovered, according to the city’s monkeypox dashboard.

To date, the city has administered more than 5,900 doses of the JYNNEOS monkeypox vaccine, said health officials.

The monkeypox vaccination site at Long Beach City College, Pacific Coast Campus, located at Parking Lot 1 on the corner of Orange Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway, is open to eligible people with and without appointments Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m., and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Health officials are also working to ensure access to the monkeypox vaccine for the unhoused community who meet the city’s eligibility requirements, according to the health department. The Homeless Services Bureau is in the process of identifying best practices to serve this population, including offering the JYNNEOS vaccine at the city’s Multi-Service Center, health officials said.

The Long Beach Health Department encourages all residents to visit longbeach.gov/monkeypox for up-to-date facts and information, which includes a full list of all vaccination eligibility requirements.

Explainer: Monkeypox has arrived in Long Beach. Who’s at risk and who can get vaccinated?

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Anthony Pignataro is an investigative reporter and editor for the Long Beach Post. He has close to three decades of experience in journalism leading numerous investigations and long-form journalism projects for the OC Weekly and other publications. He joined the Post in May 2021.
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