In Short

Legacy Health plans free monkeypox vaccine clinic in Portland on Saturday

By: - September 8, 2022 3:43 pm

There are 21,500 monkeypox cases in the U.S. (Getty Images)

Legacy Health is offering a free vaccine clinic on Saturday for people who’ve been exposed to monkeypox or risk exposure.

The event will take place at its offices in Northwest Portland between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Legacy has enough vaccine doses for 160 people, and the clinic is by appointment only, spokeswoman Sarah Ericksen told the Capital Chronicle.

The clinic at Legacy Health’s offices in Northwest Portland follows a similar free monkeypox vaccine event in recent weeks at a Legacy office in Vancouver, Washington. 

“With the current monkeypox outbreak, we encourage everyone who is eligible to receive a monkeypox vaccine,” Legacy said in a news release.

Get vaccinated:

The clinic will be held at 1120 N.W. 20th Ave., Suite 111 in Portland. Schedule by calling  503-415-4800 or book an appointment online between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Ericksen said people had already started to book appointments. “Sign up as soon as you can,” she said.

The vaccine, Jynneos, is the only one approved by the Food and Drug Administration against monkeypox. It is made by a Danish company that has struggled to meet global demand. To stretch supplies, U.S. officials have approved injecting the vaccine just under the skin, or intradermally, instead of into the arm muscle. Ericksen said most patients on Saturday will receive these subcutaneous shots unless they have a condition that causes scarring.

“The subcutaneous vaccine takes five times the serum, so they prefer to give intradermal vaccines as much as possible,” Ericksen said.

Nearly 56,700 people have been infected worldwide, including 21,500 in the U.S., according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most states have at least a few cases. As of Thursday, the Oregon Health Authority reported 179 cases in eight counties, including 127 in Multnomah County. 

The disease is spread through close contact, with many people becoming infected through sex. Men who have sex with men make up the largest number of cases in the U.S. and Oregon. For the first time in an outbreak, the health authority’s website provides details on patient sexual orientation and gender identity following a 2021 order by the Legislature to collect this data. 

Legacy said vaccines will only be given to those who are at least 18 and meet other qualifications: 

  • Gay, bisexual, and other people who have sex with men or who have had more than one sexual partner in the past 14 days.
  • Sex workers.
  • People who have had close contact within the past 14 days with someone with suspected or confirmed monkeypox.
  • People who had close contact with others at a venue or event or within a social group in the past 14 days where a suspected or confirmed monkeypox case was identified. 

The vaccine is also available from other providers. Oregon Health & Science University said it’s holding a monkeypox vaccine event with a “community partner.” Franny White, a spokeswoman, said OHSU is not releasing details out of fear that it won’t have enough vials for everyone. Providence Health & Services and PeaceHealth did not respond to requests for details about clinics at their offices by late afternoon Thursday.

 

 

 

 

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Lynne Terry
Lynne Terry

Lynne Terry has more than 30 years of journalism experience, including a recent stint as editor of The Lund Report, a highly regarded health news site. She reported on health and food safety in her 18 years at The Oregonian, was a senior producer at Oregon Public Broadcasting and Paris correspondent for National Public Radio for nine years. She has won state, regional and national awards, including a National Headliner Award for a long-term care facility story and a top award from the National Association of Health Care Journalists for an investigation into government failures to protect the public from repeated salmonella outbreaks. She loves to cook and entertain, speaks French and is learning Portuguese.

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