Cudahy Health Department fills up monkeypox vaccine appointments, 748 doses available in Wisconsin

NOW: Cudahy Health Department fills up monkeypox vaccine appointments, 748 doses available in Wisconsin

CUDAHY, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The Cudahy Health Department received its first doses of the monkeypox vaccine and is getting ready to distribute them with a vaccine clinic this week.

The clinic will take place Wednesday, Friday and next Tuesday. The Cudahy Health Department received 200 doses of the monkeypox vaccine, which is enough to vaccinate 100 people.

"We just got the vaccines on Monday," Heather Puente said. "It is a two-dose series, so 28 days later they come back for a second dose."

This is the first monkeypox vaccine clinic in the Milwaukee area and every single appointment has already been booked up. Health officer Heather Puente said the demand was extremely high.

"We knew access was going to be an issue, people had exposures and vaccine was really hard to get," Puente said.

Some people are asking, why Cudahy? We're told it's because the Cudahy clinic doesn't only serve Cudahy residents -- it's open to everyone from West Bend down to Kenosha.

"We work very collaboratively throughout the county in southeast Wisconsin, said Puente.

"Cudahy in particular has a sexual and reproductive health clinic that serves many of the municipalities outside of the city, so that's kind of why the reason for Cudahy," said Dr. Ben Weston, Milwaukee County chief health policy advisor.

People who snagged an appointment had to meet one of the following criteria:

  • People who know that a sexual partner in the past 14 days was diagnosed with monkeypox
  • People who attended an event or venue where there was known monkeypox exposure
  • Gay, bisexual, trans, and any other men who have sex with men, who had multiple sexual partners in the past 14 days

"It was an electronic sign-up form and we had people attest they met the criteria from the Department of Health Services. They attested they met those criteria, and they were able to sign up and register," Puente said.

"Even though right now we're seeing a lot of this virus in a fairly contained community that is men who have sex with men, it's not a sexually transmitted infection and anybody can get it. The virus doesn’t care who you are and it's happy to infect you," said Dr. Weston.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the state is now up to 22 reported cases of monkeypox. Of our neighbors, Michigan has 55, Minnesota 38 and Illinois 520.

"That number is gonna rise, there's no getting around that. And so it's important to start thinking about who we're gonna vaccinate, and how we're gonna go about doing that. I think we will be, we certainly will be seeing more vaccination clinics coming up in in the coming days and weeks," said Dr. Weston.

Dottie-Kay Bowersox is the public health administrator for the city of Racine. She said the risk to the public is still low. The main way monkeypox is spread is through prolonged skin-to skin contact.

"We're receiving phone calls on a daily basis of concerned citizens, which is understandable," Bowersox said. "The person has to have the legions and the pustule. Simply walking by someone at the grocery store is not going to transmit monkeypox."

She said there are just 748 doses of the monkeypox vaccine available in the state. The Milwaukee Health Department has also received 200 doses of the vaccine and is still working on how to distribute it.

Cudahy is working on getting more doses and hopes to have another clinic by the end of next week.

To schedule an appointment with the Cudahy Health Department for a monkeypox vaccine, click here

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