Beebe partners with State of Delaware for Monkeypox vaccine rollout

LEWES, Del. – Beebe Healthcare has partnered with the State of Delaware to begin administering the Monkeypox vaccine to those at high risk for the virus.

Beebe Healthcare will be organizing Monkeypox vaccine clinics for the community. Registration is required and to make an appointment visit beebehealthcare.org/online-scheduling starting Monday, Aug. 22.

There are currently 11 cases in the state of Delaware. This is a public health concern for all populations, however, not everyone will need to be vaccinated as the virus spreads less easily than other infectious diseases like COVID-19 or influenza. Spread is primarily through direct contact with an infected person and rarely from respiratory transmission. Typically, the virus does not cause hospitalization or serious illness.

To be eligible for the vaccine, individuals must fall under the guidelines set by the Division of Public Health (DPH). Currently, individuals who are living with HIV, as well as those receiving pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV are eligible. On Aug. 22, per DPH guidelines, eligibility will expand to:

  • Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men and have had multiple (more than one) or any anonymous sexual partners
  • Transgender women or nonbinary persons assigned male at birth who have sex with men
  • Sex workers (of any sexual orientation/gender)
  • Staff (of any sexual orientation/gender) at establishments where sexual activity occurs (e.g., bathhouses, saunas, sex clubs)

The virus spreads through direct skin to skin contact and can result in painful lesions, all the more reason to get vaccinated according to Beebe’s Infectious Disease Physician Bill Chasanov.

“That illness can cause a flu-like illness, but then that rash and those lesions can be extremely painful, they can be extremely itchy, they can cause significant discomfort, and then most people are actually in isolation for four to six weeks after they’ve been diagnosed with Monkeypox,” Dr. Chasanov explained. “If someone is eligible for this vaccine, it is very well tolerated, and it has very little if any side effects.”

Coming off the heels of COVID, many people remain very leery of vaccines; however, this virus is not new and neither are the efforts to prevent it.

“We knew that the first reported or recorded human case of Monkeypox was identified in the 1960s, 1970s in that area, so we have known about Monkeypox for decades, which is different than what we can say about COVID,” Dr. Chasanov said. “I would say please strongly think about it, for your well being – physical and mental – and to decrease the chances of being in insolation for several weeks because of something that could be prevented.”

If any individual believes they are eligible for this first wave of vaccinations and has questions, they may contact their primary care provider or call the DPH hotline at 866-408-1899. For an appointment, schedule online at beebehealthcare.org/online-scheduling.

Categories: Delaware, Health, Local News