AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Officials with the city of Amarillo’s Public Health Department recently announced that the department has Monkeypox vaccine in stock for individuals who meet the eligibility requirements.

This comes after the department reported the first probable case of Monkeypox in the Amarillo area in late August. According to previous reports by MyHighPlains.com, the initial case was detected through testing at a commercial laboratory. The department said at the time that they conducted a follow-up on the case but stressed that the general public is not considered at risk.

What is Monkeypox?

According to the public health department, Monkeypox is a rare, but potentially serious, viral infection from the same family of viruses that causes smallpox. The virus can cause lesions, sickness and discomfort, but is rarely fatal. Signs of the virus include a rash that can look like pimples or blisters in places on the body like the face, chest, hands or feet. Symptoms include fever/chills, headache, exhaustion and muscle aches.

Officials said Monkeypox is transmitted in the following ways:

  • Direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs or body fluids;
  • Respiratory secretions during prolonged face-to-face contact or during intimate physical contact such as kissing, cuddling or sex;
  • Touching items such as clothing or linens that previously touched the infectious rash or fluids;
  • Pregnant women to their fetus.

Officials said individuals can protect themselves from Monkeypox spread through the following ways:

  • Avoid close skin-to-skin contact, especially where there are visible sores or rashes;
  • Avoid contact with objects or materials, including bedding, towels or clothing, that a person with Monkeypox used;
  • Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person who has Monkeypox;
  • Limit your number of sex partners to reduce the likelihood of exposure;
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Who is eligible for the Monkeypox vaccine?

Officials with the city of Amarillo’s public health department said the JYNNEOS vaccine is the only one licensed by the US Food and Drug Administration for individuals 18 and older for the prevention of smallpox and monkeypox. The vaccine is also approved for those under the age of 18 under an emergency use authorization act. Officials said the vaccine is given as two shots, 28 days apart.

If a person is interested in receiving the Monkeypox vaccine from the city of Amarillo’s public health department because they think they have been exposed, are at risk or would just like to be vaccinated, they are asked to fill out an online form on the department’s website.

For more information, and to register for the Monkeypox vaccine, visit the public health department’s website.