Monkeypox vaccine appointments available in Springfield starting Tuesday

On Monday, Tapestry Health in Springfield fielded calls to schedule appointments and provide vaccines as early as Tuesday.
Published: Jul. 18, 2022 at 10:12 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - Beginning Tuesday, local health clinics will begin offering vaccines against monkeypox right here in Springfield.

Massachusetts initially received its first batch of the vaccine earlier this month. On Monday, Tapestry Health in Springfield fielded calls to schedule appointments and provide vaccines as early as Tuesday.

“It’s really important for the community health of Springfield, and we’re just really happy to be on the ground to be able to provide this,” said Tapestry Health CEO Cheryl Zoll.

At Tapestry Health, a sexual and reproductive health clinic in Springfield, officials are preparing to offer monkeypox vaccines to the community beginning on Tuesday.

“We’re only doing about 8 to 12 vaccines,” Zoll told us. “It’s our first day, but we’re expecting, as the word gets out, we’ll be getting a lot of calls, and we’re planning to offer vaccinations every day.”

There are 11 locations across the state that will provide the vaccine. Tapestry Health is one of only two in western Massachusetts, in addition to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield.

Zoll told Western Mass News that of the 2,000 doses sent to Massachusetts, they received 100 doses from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and at the moment, the vaccines are limited to people who have recently been exposed to the virus.

“It’s really anybody who’s had contact with somebody with monkeypox in the last two weeks, or multiple sexual partners in an area with a monkeypox in the last two weeks,” Zoll said.

According to the CDC’s website, there are currently 51 monkeypox cases in the state of Massachusetts, which ranks 9th in the U.S., including 18 cases in adult males who tested between July 7th and July 13th.

Nearly all cases have been men, and the vast majority had same-sex encounters, according to the CDC.

CDC officials said that anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has monkeypox, which can spread through skin-to-skin contact, is most at-risk.

Zoll told us the most common signs of monkeypox include skin lesions and flu-like symptoms. However, Zoll advised people not to wait for the symptoms to present themselves.

“If you’ve had that contact, you shouldn’t wait to feel something to get the vaccine, because the point of the vaccine is to prevent you from getting sick,” Zoll said.

This vaccine requires two doses taken 28 days apart for maximum effectiveness.

Tapestry Health will not accept walk-ins, but Zoll told us that everyone who calls to make an appointment will receive one.

To make an appointment with Tapestry Health, call 413-586-2016 (ext. 121) Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Appointments at Baystate Medical Center Brightwood Health Center can be made by calling 413-794-4458 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.