NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — As criticism and concern grow over the response to monkeypox in the U.S., the Virginia Beach Health Department is expanding its community outreach.
As of Friday, Virginia is reporting 163 total cases, 43 of those are in the Eastern Region. In an effort to control the spread, the health department will be taking the vaccine right to the people who are most at risk with the first monkeypox community clinic.
It will be held at the WAVE, on Colley Avenue in Norfolk. It is the biggest LGBTQ+ dance club in the 757.
The clinic will run next Saturday, August 27, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Those at the highest risk for contracting Monkeypox in this outbreak continue to be men who have sex with men.
Virginia Beach Health Director, Dr. Caitlin Pedati is leading the vaccination effort. “We want to make sure we’re giving it to the people who will benefit from it and who need it,” she told 10 On Your Side.
“There are times when it is great for people to come see us at the health department and there are times when it’s great when we can bring resources out to the community.”
The Virginia Beach Health Department is where people have been getting shots for the past month.
Dr. Pedati told 10 On Your Side that they’ve administered approximately 570 shots to date, and they’re meeting demand.
Out of 125 available appointments Friday, 74 people signed up and received vaccines. They immunized 81 people Thursday, but again, could’ve done 125.
“We fully expect that as time moves along, we’re going to identify more cases and we’re going to be able to have more outreach and encourage more people to take advantage of the vaccine,” Pedati said.
The clinic schedule at the WAVE will make vaccine outside of regular business hours in a place that may be more convenient and comfortable for some.
Pedati said that if you’re not sure about the shot, call the health department to find out if you’re at risk and stay informed.
“With a new or newly emerging virus like monkeypox that can change over time, so that’s exactly why we want people to stay informed and stay up to date.”
You can reach the health department at (757) 518-2700.