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CDPHE works with local groups to provide mobile monkeypox vaccine units

Posted at 4:59 PM, Aug 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-17 19:27:42-04

DENVER – The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is working with LGBTQ advocacy organizations to provide monkeypox mobile vaccine units as cases of the virus continue to grow across the state.

On Wednesday, One Colorado, an LGBTQ advocacy group, held a monkeypox vaccine clinic using a newly converted COVID-19 mobile vaccine unit. One Colorado is one of two LGBTQ organizations working with the CDPHE to make the vaccine more accessible to more people, the other being the Center on Colfax.

“Just because MPV is currently impacting 96% to 98% of the LGBTQ+ population across this across the United States currently, it doesn't mean that it could begin to impact more folks outside of our LGBTQ population, which is also of concern,” Gillian Ford, communications director for One Colorado, told Denver7 Wednesday.

Ford said One Colorado is working to increase vaccination rates and address the stigma surrounding the virus, including changing the terminology used to refer to it.

“We are advocating at One Colorado alongside our statewide and national partners to shift from the term monkeypox to a more clinically derived term like MPV to move away from some racist and stigmatizing history of the term monkeypox,” Ford said. “People perceive that a virus like MPV comes from monkeys and that is not true.”

Anthony Aragon attended the mobile clinic on Wednesday to get the vaccine and said he is happy to have the added layer of protection.

“It is or has affected, you know, LGBT or men having sex with men, right. But it's in our community, and we're all a community,” Aragon said. “I've been trying for the past couple of weeks to get this monkeypox vaccine, like there is a sense of relief that I have it now.”

CDPHE works with local groups to provide mobile monkeypox vaccine units

The FDA recently approved administering one fifth of a vaccine dose to patients if the patient receives the shot underneath the skin versus into the muscle.

“Today we have between 350 and 400 doses available, thanks to that FDA authorization,” Ford said. “That being said, intradermal injection is as equally effective as a subcutaneous injection.”

One Colorado plans to hold more mobile vaccine clinics in the near future. Another mobile vaccine unit is located at the Center on Colfax and will be open weekly. Vaccine appointments are also available through CDPHE clinics but people must attest to their eligibility before receiving an appointment.

As of Wednesday, there were 163 cases of monkeypox in Colorado.