Monkeypox Virus: Rhode Island Status Update

As of August 19, 2022 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported 14,115 confirmed cases of monkeypox in the United States, 37 in Rhode Island and 243 in neighboring Massachusetts and 73 in Connecticut.  

We continue to see cases of monkeypox being diagnosed in the state of Rhode Island, with the majority among cis-gender gay and bisexual men. 

The Rhode Island Public Health Institute’s Open Door Health has helped lead Rhode Island’s response to the monkeypox virus outbreak. The organization hosted a vaccination event at the clinic on August 8 and the team has adjusted staffing and workflows to be able to continue to vaccinate in a timely manner. Demand for the vaccine remains high; Open Door Health has received hundreds of requests for vaccination appointments. 

Following the Rhode Island Department of Health guidlines on eligibility, Open Door Health is accepting vaccination appointment requests from any gay, bisexual or other man who has sex with other men who reports having multiple or anonymous sexual partners. 

To request an appointment for a monkeypox vaccine, visit Due to the extraordinarily high volume of calls, online requests are strongly encouraged. Individuals with a known exposure to the monkeypox virus or who are displaying symptoms should immediately call Open Door Health at 401-648-4700 for testing options. 

The Rhode Island Department of Health has scheduled four community vaccination clinics for August 19, August 20, September 2, and September 3. To sign up or learn more information, visit the department’s monkeypox webpage. 

Open Door Health and the Rhode Island Department of Health are administering the JYNNEOS vaccine. JYNNEOS vaccination has involved a subcutaneous (SQ) route of administration with an injection volume of 0.5mL. In the context of the current national Public Health Emergency, intradermal (ID) administration with an injection volume of 0.1mL is now being used under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). For a more comprehensive overview of the current vaccines in use, visit the CDC’s monkeypox vaccine page

No data are currently available on the clinical efficacy or effectiveness of the JYNNEOS vaccine in the current outbreak. Because there are limitations in our knowledge about the effectiveness of this vaccines in the current outbreak, people who are vaccinated should continue to take steps to protect themselves from infection by avoiding close, skin-to-skin contact, including intimate contact, with someone who has monkeypox.

Globally and in the United States, supply of JYNNEOS vaccine is currently limited, although more is expected in the coming weeks and months.


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