Some seeking monkeypox vaccine get turned away as highest-risk Las Vegas residents get priority

Published: Jul. 29, 2022 at 8:05 AM PDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) -Las Vegas Valley health officials have to turn some anxious residents away for a Monkeypox vaccine, as supply remains limited and the highest-risk residents remain the public health priority.

According to the Southern Nevada Health District, 300 doses and counting have been administered. A clinic was launched this week for the public to book appointments and seek vaccines. Appointments for Monday’s clinic were snatched up days in advance, and other residents report that all spots were filled for other days, this week.

SNHD officials urge those who who are at the highest risk, but do not have an appointment, to walk into the clinic for a shot. Those individuals include those exposed to a confirmed or suspected active case, or those with multiple sexual anonymous partners in the past two weeks.

One man said he called to inquire about a vaccine, but was told by health officials that he was ineligible. The man had been traveling out of state, and had close contact with a man who later identified himself as a recovered Monkeypox patient, who was most likely out of quarantine; the situation was still concerning to the man.

“That freaked me out. They told me that I couldn’t get a shot. I‘m I one of the groups that could be at increased risk for Monkeypox as an LGBT man, so I didn’t want to take any chances,” he said.

Though Clark County only has 12 documented cases, health officials believe the virus is spreading. “This is a very transient city, and we’re in one of the largest tourist destinations in America. People are traveling from across the world, to Las Vegas all the time,” he said.

“The Health District will open up additional appointments when vaccine becomes available, as has been reported, and we have no timeframe when additional vaccine doses will be delivered,” wrote Stephanie Bethel of SNHD in an email to FOX5.

Nevada has been alotted close to 1,800 doses from the federal government. No word when more could be coming. The Department of Health and Human Services released this statement:

“The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has yet to address a mass vaccination strategy; he federal government is working to increase the available supply of the JYNNEOS vaccine to a level that will support prevention in a broader community. When those doses are available, Nevada will be ready to receive them.”