Registration closed for monkeypox vaccines at Columbus Health Department

Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 10:52 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 4, 2022 at 11:15 AM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - As monkeypox cases rise in Georgia, The Columbus Health Department was one of several in our area to receive vaccines for it.

But, with a limited supply of doses, the department ran out within minutes of posting its appointment registration link.

The local health district has already ordered more of those vaccines, which are expected to arrive within two weeks. And there are preventative measures for this virus that can impact anyone, especially sexually active members of the LGBTQ community.

On Tuesday, monkeypox vaccines became available in Columbus and the West Central Georgia Health District. But, within 10 minutes, the health department ran out of doses, and the Fountain City got half of the vaccines allotted.

“We received 60 doses for our district, and we hope to receive 400 more. We’ve ordered that amount, and hopefully, we’ll get those within the next two weeks,” said Pamela Kirkland at the Columbus Health Department.

The rush to register for appointments to receive the vaccine comes as positive cases climb throughout the state.

“We have 455 in the state right now, and we have one case in our district,” said Kirkland.

Officials are not releasing information about where that one positive case is in the district. But, while a majority of those positive cases involve sexually active members of the LGBTQ community, officials say it can affect others as well.

Keeping that in mind, one local organization ensures the LGBTQ knows about the virus. We talked to the leader of COLGAY Pride.

“We’re doing a lot of, right now, online broadcasting about it. We’re talking about it at every event that we have every. Every one of my support groups -- we mention it over and over again,” said Jeremy Hobbs, Executive Director of COLGAY Pride.

While officials wait for additional monkeypox vaccines locally, they encourage others to practice safe sex.

“If you can, avoid sexual contact right now with strangers or hookups or what have you because it can save your life,” said Hobbs.

“If you’re with someone who has Monkeypox, condoms will not protect you. So the best thing that you can do is abstain from sex for that amount of time they have those symptoms and that rash,” said Kirkland.

Anyone can get free condoms from the health department. You can order them with free delivery to your home. News Leader 9 will keep you all posted about when the health department receives more vaccines.

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