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Columbia and Boone County will host mpox vaccination clinics

A hand is holding a syringe.
Rebecca Smith
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people need to get two doses of the vaccine that protects against mpox and smallpox.

Throughout the coming days, Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services (PHHS) will host community vaccination clinics for mpox, which was formerly known as monkeypox.

Mpox is a disease that is caused by an infection with the mpox virus, and spreads from direct, person to person contact with infectious bodily fluids, scabs and rashes. Some symptoms can include fever, headache, muscle aches, respiratory symptoms, swollen lymph nodes, backache, chills and a rash that can appear on different areas of the body. Mpox is a rare disease and is rarely fatal.

According to a news release from PHHS, mpox cases have been recorded in Boone County. Because mpox is not spread as easily as other viruses, there is a low risk to the community. The mpox virus comes from the same family of viruses that causes smallpox and has similar symptoms to smallpox. However, public information specialist Ryan Sheehan with Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services said residents should be aware of the differences between the two viruses.

“Smallpox sounds scary. But the symptoms are milder, and it's rarely fatal. So of course, don't panic. And do go to our website, look over the people that are recommended to get the vaccine and also review symptoms as well,” Sheehan said.

Per CDC guidelines, the mpox vaccine is recommended for groups with above average risk due to recent exposure, sexual history or history of an immunosuppressive disorder such as HIV. Data from the World Health Organization shows mpox outbreaks have mostly been recorded in communities of men who have sex with men and gender diverse individualsthat have links to the same sexual networks.

The mpox vaccine, named JYNNEOS, can be administered in a series or as a single dose. However, data shows receiving both doses of the vaccine provides the highest level of protection. Community members interested in receiving an mpox vaccine can go to one of the upcoming vaccination clinics or make an appointment by calling the clinic at the PHHS building. The hours and locations of vaccination clinics are:

  • Thursday, July 13, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. at Cosmo Park, 1615 Business Loop 70 W.
  • Sunday, July 16, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. at Ashland Pride Event, Ashland City Park, 399 N. College St.
  • Wednesday, July 19, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. at Cosmo Park, 1615 Business Loop 70 W.

More information on mpox, as well as the mpox vaccine and who is eligible, can be found on the PHHS website.

Anna Spidel is a health reporter for the KBIA Health & Wealth desk. A proud Michigander, Anna hails from Dexter, Michigan and received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Michigan State University in 2022. Previously, she worked with member station Michigan Radio as an assistant producer on Stateside.
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