COLORADO SPRINGS, CO — The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and Governor Jared Polis are working with federal agencies to increase the distribution of Monkeypox vaccines and expand testing availability in our state.
US Department of Health and Human Services declared the virus outbreak as a public health emergency on Thursday.
There have been 80 confirmed cases of monkeypox reported in Colorado since May.
Dr. Alexis Burakoff, a medical epidemiologist with CDPHE, explained that lessons learned from COVID helped her organization to quickly ramp up its response to monkeypox.
"We've been working hard on expanding testing, making sure health care providers know how to test, expanding testing at our state laboratory, pushing out information to providers about how to test at commercial laboratories that are now onboard," Dr. Burakoff said.
Colorado has received 9,665 doses of vaccine from the federal government and we've already administered around 2,000 of them. The health department ordered an additional 5,080 doses of vaccine on Monday.
Vaccine distribution is restricted to people with a known monkeypox exposure, which CDPHE calls Post-Exposure-Prophylaxis or "PEP."
Additional high-risk individuals also qualify for vaccination if they're part of the PEP group.
"Current eligibility criteria are men who identify as gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men, 18 years or older who have had either multiple or anonymous partners in the past two weeks," Dr. Burakoff said.
Those wishing to get vaccinated against monkeypox must request an appointment using this form.
A data dashboard tracking the outbreak shows that cases in Colorado grew from six in June to 66 in July. An additional six cases have been recorded so far in August. The dashboard is updated Tuesday through Friday at 10:00 a.m.
There are five locations currently offering to test for monkeypox. However, Dr. Burakoff notes that patients can also contact their health care provider as many commercial laboratories are now accepting specimens.
The testing locations are as follows:
Denver Sexual Health Clinic
Phone: (303) 602-3540
Address: 660 N. Bannock St., Pavilion L, 2nd Floor, Denver, CO 80204
(Denver Sexual Health Clinic is currently only evaluating patients who have been sexually active or directly exposed to monkeypox within the last month and have a rash.)
Jefferson County Public Health Sexual and Reproductive Health Clinic
Phone: (303) 239-7040
Address: 645 Parfet St., Lakewood, CO 80215
(JCPH Sexual & Reproductive Health Clinic is only evaluating people who are sexually active, AND have a rash, AND have been directly exposed to monkeypox within the past month. Evaluation and testing by appointment only.)
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