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Free event in Seattle to administer monkeypox vaccine to those who are eligible

Only those who are at a high risk of exposure will be eligible to receive the vaccine during Saturday’s free event at Seattle Central College.

SEATTLE — There is a limited supply of monkeypox vaccine in Washington state. 

Public Health – Seattle & King County says some doses will be available on Saturday at Seattle Central College, but there are restrictions on who can receive the vaccine. 

Only those who are at the highest risk of exposure will be eligible to receive the vaccine during Saturday’s free event, according to Public Health.

After Alexandre Manila received the vaccine for monkeypox, an illness known as MPV, he decided to post about it on his Instagram page.

"I did a story… and I just kind of started getting more comments from people,” said Manila.

He kept making videos sharing information from the Department of Health to address the most common questions, like who is eligible for the vaccine.

"Eligibility is if you've had close contact with somebody who's had a confirmed case of monkeypox,” said Manila.

Public Health – Seattle and King County have a list of criteria to ensure the vaccine goes to people with the highest risk of exposure.

"Supply has been limited, we're expecting more doses from the federal government,” said Dr. Umair Shah, the state’s Secretary of Health.

The state’s Department of Health reports a growing number of cases. So far there have been 166 reports of MPV statewide with 144 of those cases in King County. 

The virus can spread through contact with an infectious rash, scabs or bodily fluid; prolonged respiratory face-to-face contact; or potentially from objects or clothing used by someone with the illness. The Department says anyone can catch it but acknowledges that it is currently disproportionately impacting the LGBTQ+ community.

“Any sort of minority community oftentimes becomes the punching bag,” said Manila.

Manila says he already sees the stigma around MPV and is sharing videos on social media to “offer more information, but also just provide a sense of common ease for the community."

Eligibility criteria for the monkeypox vaccine: 

  • People who have had sexual, close intimate contact or other high risk close contact with someone who has tested positive for monkeypox
  • People at high risk of exposure to monkeypox, including men who have sex with men who have recently had multiple sexual or intimate close contact partners including: 
    • Gay, bisexual, or other men or transgender people who have sex with men AND
    • At least one of the following:
      • More than 10 sex partners in the prior 3 months
      • History of early syphilis or gonorrhea in the prior year
      • Methamphetamine use in the prior month
      • Attendance at a bathhouse, other public sex venue, or group sex (sex including at least 3 people at the same time) in the prior 3 months
      • Experiencing homelessness/unstable housing AND currently living in a congregate setting AND had any sexual activity in the prior 3 months.

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