Military Circle Mall now offering both monkeypox, COVID vaccines

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Posted at 9:33 PM, Sep 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-12 22:21:19-04

NORFOLK, Va. - Two major vaccines are now available at Military Circle Mall. The site is offering the latest COVID booster and the monkeypox vaccine.

We spoke with one doctor to see who's eligible.

Since May, the Virginia Department of Health says 409 monkeypox cases have been reported across the Commonwealth.

"It's one of those things that were trying to keep track of it and try to make sure that we don't spread it too far," Ryan Light, a Chesapeake Family Medicine Physician said.

Starting Monday, the VDH started distributing the two-dose monkeypox vaccine. The CDC recommends the vaccine for people of any sexual orientation or gender who have had multiple sexual partners as they are considered high risk, according to health leaders.

But according to Dr. Light, Virginia's monkeypox cases numbers compared to other areas of the country remain low.

"I don't think there's a lot of physicians seeing it. We are aware that it's out there and we do have a heightened suspicion for it. So, if we're seeing anything that looks like it we're going to report it to the Virginia Department of Health right away," Light said.

When looking statewide at age groups, the highest number of monkeypox cases is among people 30 to 39 years old, at 40%. It's closely followed by people 20 to 29 years old at 36%. According to VDH, 96% of monkeypox cases in Virginia are men.

Doctor Light also addressed questions about how monkeypox can spread.

"If your intimately contacting, you can get it. If you actually come in contact with the actual open lesion, skin-to-skin contact, without any intimate contact you can still get it that way," Light said.

Meanwhile, doctors say if you have symptoms including, rashes and flu-like symptoms, to contact your doctor or health department.

"Just knowing who your having close intimate contact with and knowing where they've been before you is probably the most important thing," Light tells News 3.

While at the vaccine clinic, we saw many folks lined up to get their vaccine. We asked a few why they've decided to come out and get their dose, but they did not want to speak with us, due to the stigma around monkeypox.

"It's still a rare disease right now, but that's good news," Light said.

VDH leaders say they are fortunate that testing, vaccines, and treatments are available. The clinics will go from 3 to 6 p.m., Mondays and Wednesdays, and do require an appointment.