Cal Poly's Health Center. Credit: File / Mustang News Credit: Carolyne Sysmans | Mustang News

A free Monkeypox vaccine clinic is coming to the Cal Poly Health Center on Thursday, Oct. 27.

Students 18 or older are eligible to receive the vaccine if they have had close contact with someone diagnosed with Monkeypox during the time they had symptoms, identify as a male that has sex with men and/or identify as a sex worker of any sexual orientation or gender identity. Others can sign up to receive updates from the County of San Luis Obispo as vaccine eligibility expands.

This is Campus Health & Wellbeing’s second time hosting a Monkeypox (MPX) clinic on campus for students at high risk of infection. The first dose of the JYNNEOS vaccine, which has been approved by the CDC for the prevention of Monkeypox, was available on a first-come, first-served basis on Sept. 29. at the health center.

The process was similar to the COVID-19 vaccine clinics that were offered last year. Upon arrival, students filled out a short form prior to receiving the vaccine. Students had to wait 15 minutes after getting the shot before they could leave. 

“I wouldn’t say I’m too concerned [about an outbreak] just as long as there is something readily available for people to take advantage of, like for example the vaccine,” Campus Health & Wellbeing medical assistant Aaron Ortiz said. “I just wish that maybe more students were able to take advantage of it.”

One student at the MPX clinic, environmental earth and soil sciences senior Noah Alagao, said the clinic was very helpful.

“Back in my hometown, it wasn’t as readily available or it was harder to get, so having it on campus was definitely beneficial for me,” Alagao said.

No appointment was necessary and medical professionals were available to answer any questions students may have had. There were also free donuts for anyone that came to get the vaccine. 

“If you are able to get the vaccine for monkeypox, you should get it,” Alagao said.

Beyond getting vaccinated, students can protect themselves from the disease by avoiding close skin-to-skin contact with people that have a rash that looks like Monkeypox, avoiding contact with objects and materials that a person with Monkeypox has used and washing hands often with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

The next MPX vaccine clinic will be held on Thursday, from 1 to 4:30 p.m. at the lower level of the health center, Building 27.

More information regarding MPX can be found on the Campus Health and Wellbeing website.