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DENVER (KDVR) — The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment will administer 200 doses of the monkeypox vaccine to help further prevent the spread of the virus.

The 200 doses were received from the federal government’s strategic national stockpile. The CDPHE will administer the supply on Thursday, June 30 and Friday, July 1 in the Denver metro area.

Who is eligible?

The vaccine is now available to men aged 18 years or older who are gay, bisexual, or men who have had sex with other men who had multiple or anonymous sex partners in the last 14 days. According to the CDPHE, anyone can get monkeypox through close contact, but recent data suggests there is a heightened risk for men in this group.

Eligible, high-risk Coloradans have to request an appointment online. The online form includes a symptom screening process where applicants can self-attest to their eligibility. They will then receive a follow-up email confirming their scheduled appointment.

“We are doing everything possible now to slow the potential spread of the virus, and that means using the limited supply of vaccines we have. We expect demand may outweigh supply, so we are asking the federal government for more vaccines,” said Scott Bookman, division director, Disease Control and Public Health Response Division, CDPHE. “But for right now, we can’t sit on this valuable tool we have to prevent spread.”

Vaccine details

According to CDPHE, the JYNNEOS vaccine is a fully FDA-approved two-dose vaccine with doses given four weeks apart.

The vaccine can help people from getting sick if they receive it within four days of exposure to monkeypox. If a person receives the vaccine between four and 14 days after exposure, it can help prevent severe illness but may not prevent the infection.

“Vaccination following a high-risk exposure is the best way to help prevent infection or reduce the severity of illness if someone contracts monkeypox. Post-exposure vaccination can also help slow the spread of monkeypox,” said Dr. Rachel Herlihy, state epidemiologist. “We want to make sure Coloradans have the information and resources to keep themselves and their communities safe. Our response will continue to evolve, as we expect to receive additional guidance and vaccines from the federal government.”

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has identified five cases of monkeypox so far, but none have led to hospitalizations or death.