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DC Health to Merge Monkeypox Clinics with D.C.’s 3 COVID Centers

Monkeypox vaccine – Photo: Tobias Arhelger, via Dreamstime.

DC Health has announced that, beginning on Saturday, Oct. 15, the District’s three monkeypox clinics will merge with the District’s existing COVID centers in Wards 2, 3, and 8. The vaccine will continue to be available for first and second doses without an appointment at those three Health Service Centers. 

The reason why DC Health is able to merge the monkeypox and COVID clinics together and offer vaccines on a walk-in basis is due, in part, to the District’s success in countering the monkeypox outbreak.

Despite that success, DC Health continues to encourage all eligible individuals to get vaccinated against monkeypox virus — especially those from low-income backgrounds and communities of color, where vaccination rates have lagged behind those of more affluent or predominantly white communities. Thus far, DC Health has provided more than 36,000 doses of the monkeypox vaccine to at-risk communities, and Washington, D.C. has the highest percentage of individuals per capita vaccinated in the nation. 

Beginning on Oct. 15, the three clinics where District residents can obtain either monkeypox or COVID vaccinations without pre-registering will be located at 926 F Street NW, in the Mount Vernon Triangle neighborhood; 5335 Wisconsin Ave NW, in the city’s Friendship Heights neighborhood; and 3640 Martin Luther King Jr Avenue SE, in the city’s Congress Heights neighborhood. 

Hours for the Ward 2/Mount Vernon location and the Ward 8/Congress Heights location are 10 a.m.-8 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. on Thursday, and 9 a.m.-7 p.m. on Friday. Both locations are closed on Sundays

For the Ward 3/Friendship Heights location, hours are 10 a.m.-8 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. on Thursday, and 9 a.m-7 p.m. on Friday, with that clinic being closed on Tuesdays.

Thus far, there have only been 501 confirmed cases of monkeypox infection in the District of Columbia. Increased ability to obtain vaccinations, coupled with behavioral modifications such as limiting sexual partners and not engaging in one-night stands — which were recommended by global health experts — appear to have stemmed the rate of infections locally, especially compared the spike in infections that was seen at the start of the outbreak.

Those eligible for monkeypox vaccine include: people of any sexual orientation or gender who have had multiple sexual partners in the past two weeks, especially those that belong to higher-risk subgroups, such as men who have sex with men, transgender individuals, sex workers, people who work at establishments where sex occurs, people with HIV/AIDS or those who have been infected with any sexually transmitted infection in the past three months.

Read the full article here

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