FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Natalie Shelton
County health departments in District 4 Public Health have expanded the eligibility criteria for who can get vaccinated for protection against monkeypox.
Following CDC recommendations, the Georgia Department of Health is prioritizing the vaccine for individuals 18 and older—of any gender identity or sexual orientation—who in the last 14 days has:
- had multiple or anonymous sex partners with men who have sex with men.
- had skin-to-skin contact with someone with a rash or is suspected of having monkeypox, or with someone at a large venue or event.
- engaged in sex in exchange for money, shelter, food, and other goods.
Others eligible include anyone who is HIV positive, or on HIV PrEP, or diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the last 90 days.
As of September 12, Georgia had reported 1,557 cases, and it is ranked fifth among states with the highest number. District 4 Public Health has 51 probable and presumptive cases in its 12-county area, which includes Butts, Carroll, Coweta, Fayette, Heard, Henry, Lamar, Meriwether, Pike, Spalding, Troup, and Upson counties. Other public health districts outside Atlanta have reported cases as well.
Anyone with direct contact, especially skin-to-skin, with an infected person can contract the disease. Despite the rapid spread of monkeypox, most individuals in the general population continue to be at low risk of exposure and infection, according to federal health officials. Although it is a viral infection, monkeypox does not behave or transmit as easily as COVID-19.
Most settings where people congregate—such as workplaces, schools, grocery stores, gas station, or public transportation—are not considered high-risk settings for monkeypox transmission.
Health departments offer the vaccine at no cost to the individual by appointment only. To register, visit Georgia DPH’s online schedule system at gta-vras.powerappsportals.us/en-US/ or call the Vaccine Scheduling Resource Line at (888) 457-0186.
District 4 also provides the online scheduling link and more information at district4health.org/monkeypox.
Individuals are urged to call their local health department if they have been exposed or are experiencing signs and symptoms. (No walk-ins, please.) Callers can then leave their contact information so a nurse can respond to them by the end of the day. Based on one’s symptoms and history, the nurse may then consult a medical epidemiologist to determine if someone needs testing. Monkeypox testing can only be administered when lesions are present so a specimen can be acquired for laboratory testing.
Monkeypox Vaccine Availability – District 4 Public Health
County health departments offer appointment-only monkeypox vaccines to eligible individuals during the following days and times. Please note: Schedules may be subject to change based on vaccine availability. For updates, visit Georgia’s online scheduling system at district4health.org/monkeypox or call the Vaccine Scheduling Resource Line at (888) 457-0186.
1004 Newnan Road, Carrollton
Mondays-Tuesdays (Sept. 13 until 4:45 p.m.)
70 Hospital Road, Newnan
8-11:15 a.m., 1-3:45 p.m., Fridays
300 W. Perry St, Manchester
8:15-11:45 a.m., Tuesday
100 Academy Drive, Barnesville
8:15-11:45 a.m., Fridays
140 W. Stonewall Ave., Fayetteville
8:30-11:30 a.m., 1-2:45 p.m., Wednesdays
1007 Memorial Drive, Griffin
1-3:30 p.m., Fridays
314 E. Lee St., Thomaston
8:15-11:45 a.m., 1-4:30 p.m., Wednesdays
900 Dallis St., LaGrange
8-11:30 a.m., Fridays (not available Sept. 30)
135 Henry Parkway, McDonough
8-11:45 a.m., 1-4 p.m., Thursdays