The Louisiana Department of Health has announced that monkeypox vaccines are available in health units across Acadiana.

In a press release, LDH identified local parish health units that qualifying individuals can go in order to get a vaccine if they believe they are at risk. Those locations are:

  • Acadia Parish Health Unit
  • Acadiana Cares
  • Evangeline Parish Health Unit
  • Iberia Parish Health Unit
  • Lafayette Parish Health Unit
  • Lafayette Foundation Clinic
  • Ochsner Lafayette General Infectious Disease Clinic
  • St. Landry Parish Health Unit
  • St. Martin Parish Health Unit
  • Vermilion Parish Health Unit

At the beginning of the month, four cases of monkeypox had been identified in the Acadidana area. LDH says that, as of right now, there have been nine total cases in the region and 174 cases since the start of 2022.

Monkeypox, LDH website
Monkeypox, LDH website

According to the LDH website, those who qualify for the vaccine are:

  • Gay, bisexual, other (cis or trans) men who have sex with men OR transgender women and nonbinary persons assigned male at birth who have sex with men AND
    • Have had intimate or sexual contact with multiple or anonymous partners in last 14 days or
    • Have had intimate or sexual contact with other men in a social or sexual venue in the last 14 days
  • Individuals (of any sex/gender identity) who have given or received money or other goods/services in exchange for sex in the last 14 days
  • Individuals (of any sex/gender identity) who have been determined to be at high risk for monkeypox exposure by a healthcare provider or public health official.

Monkeypox has been declared a global emergency by the UN Health Agency. CDC data should that gay and bisexual men had been making up a high number of initial cases, but it has since spread to friends and family by way of physical contact and exposure.

There is also testing available if you think you have been exposed to the virus. According to LDH:

Testing for or monkeypox is now widely available. If you have symptoms and would like to be tested for monkeypox, contact your healthcare provider. Anyone without a provider or insurance can also be tested at their local parish health unit or community clinic:
If your test for monkeypox is positive, stay isolated until your rash has healed, all scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of intact skin has formed.
People interested in receiving the vaccine can visit the LDH monkeypox webpage for information, including a list of locations in Louisiana that have received vaccine. People can also call 211 to get their monkeypox questions answered.

Money Tight? Have a Phenomenal Staycation in Louisiana

You can travel only an hour or two a find a new place to visit, explore and be able to spend time with your family.

More From News Talk 96.5 KPEL