RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said the federal government is allocating them limited vaccines for people who have been exposed to Monkeypox.

According to a release, North Carolina will receive 444 doses of Jynneos, a vaccine that can prevent illness or lead to less severe symptoms if given within two weeks after someone is exposed to Monkeypox.

NCDHHS officials say doses will be sent to seven local health departments across the state as part of phase 1 allocation of the vaccine:

  • Buncombe         (828) 250-5300
  • Durham              (919) 560-9217
  • Forsyth               (336) 703-3100
  • Mecklenburg      (980) 314-9400
  • New Hanover     (910) 798-6800
  • Pitt                      (252) 902-2300
  • Wake                  (919) 250-4462

Because the vaccines are in limited supply, health officials say the vaccine will only be offered to people with known or suspected exposure to Monkeypox.

The criteria is as follows, according to NCDHHS:

  • People who have been in close physical contact with someone diagnosed with monkeypox
  • Men who have sex with men, or transgender individuals, who have had multiple or anonymous sex partners in the last 14 days in either a venue where monkeypox was present or in an area where the virus is spreading. Currently, this includes several locations in Europe and parts of California, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York and Texas. Updated global and U.S. case numbers are posted on the CDC site here.  

Health officials say people who meet these criteria can call their local health department to make an appointment to receive the vaccine, or they can call one of the seven local health departments listed above.

Monkeypox vaccines are free and based on availability of the vaccine, according to a press release.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Monkeypox is spread through close, physical contact or by touching something that has made contact with an infected person, such as clothing or bed sheets.

Symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion

Health officials say if you have an unexplained rash, sores or other symptoms, see your health care provider.

If you don’t have one, they recommend visiting a public health clinic near you.

They say people should keep the rash covered and avoid being intimate with anyone until they have been checked by a doctor.