Raleigh, NC — On the day that President Biden declared monkeypox a public health emergency in the United States, Wake County Public Health announced a walk-in vaccination to try and keep the virus in check. The event is Saturday, Aug. 6, from 10 am to 3 pm at the Wake County Public Health Center at 10 Sunnybrook Road in Raleigh.
North Carolina saw its highest single-day jump in monkeypox cases, with 14 new cases in the past 24 hours. There are 86 confirmed cases statewide, up from 46 confirmed cases a week ago.
Wake County, which has 10 confirmed cases, has been experiencing long lines and lots of calls from residents eager to get a vaccine. Some people tell WRAL News it’s taking about two weeks from first call to first shot, and others are still waiting for a call back.
In addition to this vaccination event, Wake County is hoping to speed up the vaccine requests by adding more nurses and launching an online portal.
“We’re hearing from residents who are anxious to receive the vaccine, so our team has mobilized quickly to hold this no-cost event to meet the demand,” said Sig Hutchinson, chair of the Wake County Board of Commissioners. “No appointment is necessary. This is an intentional step to remove any barriers to access. We invite those who are eligible to simply walk into our facility on Saturday and get the vaccine.”
Attending Wake County’s walk-in monkeypox vaccination event
This weekend’s pop-up monkeypox vaccination event will only be open to those 18 and older who meet the following eligibility criteria:
- People who have been in close physical contact with someone diagnosed with monkeypox in the past 14 days
- Men who have sex with men or transgender individuals who report any of the following in the past 90 days:
- Having multiple or anonymous sex partners
- Being diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection
- Receiving HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP
A brief screening will be conducted prior to administering the monkeypox vaccine. Due to the walk-in nature of the event and the need for the initial screening, expect wait times. PLEASE NOTE: Masks must be worn at all times while in the Public Health Center.
Wake County Public Health has about 550 doses to distribute at the walk-in clinic.
High demand for monkeypox vaccines in Wake County
The Division of Public Health said it is experiencing a high volume of calls to its Communicable Disease Line — 919-250-4462 — which is still the best way to schedule a vaccine until the online site launches.
Wake County currently has 800 doses of the JYNNEOS vaccine; however, the county has only scheduled 228 appointments and has given 162 shots.
The county’s health director expects a significant improvement by next week.
More information on Wake County’s response can be found at WakeGov.com/monkeypox. Within the next 48 hours, an online vaccine appointment scheduler will be added to this website for vaccinations outside of Saturday’s event.