Special to The Dallas Examiner
Abounding Prosperity Inc. and its HOPE Health and Wellness Center are hosting a monkeypox vaccine clinic for individuals at high risk and those in underserved communities in the Dallas/Fort-Worth area.
The clinic is open to eligible individuals now – by appointment only – at HOPE Health and Wellness Center, 1619 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Dallas, TX 75215. Clinic hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CT every Thursday and Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday, while supplies last.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus that can spread from person to person through respiratory secretions or direct contact with an infectious rash, scabs or body fluids. Jynneos is the only FDA-licensed vaccine in the U.S. that is approved for prevention of the monkeypox disease.
Currently, there are approximately 6,000 confirmed cases of monkeypox in the U.S.; over 700 cases in Texas; and more than 200 cases in Dallas County – more than any other county in the state. The LGBTQ+ community is disproportionately impacted with approximately 98% of all cases impacting gay or bisexual men.
Abounding Prosperity Inc., a nonprofit organization founded to respond to social and health disparities devastating communities of color and LGBTQ+ communities in Dallas County, initially received 300 doses of the monkeypox vaccine from Dallas County Health and Human Services. The doses will be administered at the clinic until they’re depleted.
“The limited supply of monkeypox vaccines is concerning for medically underserved communities and individuals at highest risk, as they are less likely to have access to care or the vaccine,” said Kirk Myers-Hill, founder and chief executive officer, Abounding Prosperity Inc. “Hosting this clinic in South Dallas makes it easy for individuals to obtain the vaccine in their neighborhood. It is imperative for as many people as possible to take the vaccine to reach immunity.”
While the disease is more prevalent among gay and bisexual men, a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity does not put them at higher risk of infection; close contact to an infected person puts them at greater risk of infection. Taking precautions like avoiding skin-to-skin contact with people who have symptoms, avoiding contact with objects and materials that a person with monkeypox has used and washing your hands often can lessen your chances of contracting the disease.
“It is of utmost importance that we supply these vaccines and other resources to ensure access and availability to those that may not otherwise have access to these resources. We want to normalize prevention as a part of self-care,” said Tamara Stephney, chief operating officer, Abounding Prosperity Inc. and executive director, HOPE Health and Wellness Center. “We must continue to be at the forefront and respond aggressively and quickly to public health issues that affect our community just as we have responded to HIV, COVID-19, STIs and now monkeypox. Integrating these types of services allows us to expand our prevention efforts, thereby increasing positive community health and wellness outcomes.”
To determine eligibility and to make an appointment to receive the vaccine at Abounding Prosperity Inc.’s HOPE Health and Wellness Center, visit the Monkeypox Vaccine Eligibility Pre-Screener.
Due to high demand that currently outweighs the available supply, only those who meet eligibility requirements will receive the vaccine.