Vaccination against monkeypox available for eligible people starting September 2 at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center

Illustration of monkeypox virus cells

As transmission of the monkeypox virus continues around the United States, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has made the Jynneos monkeypox vaccine available at designated sites around the state. Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) in Lebanon is among the vaccination sites and will begin administering vaccines on Friday, September 2, 2022. DHMC’s vaccination site is an outdoor drive-thru clinic in the Colburn Hill section of the medical center campus.

Vaccination is available as a preventative measure either before contracting monkeypox (pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP), or after being exposed to the virus (post-exposure prophylaxis, or PEP). For vaccine eligibility requirements and other information, and to make an appointment for vaccination, call the Dartmouth Health monkeypox hotline at 603-650-1818.

In order to be eligible for a vaccine through DHHS, the individual must live, work, and/or have a primary care provider in New Hampshire. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and DHHS recommends you receive the Jynneos vaccine if you:

  • Know you have been exposed to the monkeypox virus in the last 14 days, or
  • May be more likely to get the monkeypox infection (before being exposed to the virus), including men who have sex with men who reported:
    • Having three or more new sex partners in the last month,
    • Having group or anonymous sex,
    • Having sex at sex-on-site venues/events,
    • Exchanging sex for money/drugs/other needs, or
    • Taking medicine to prevent HIV (HIV PrEP).

Monkeypox is an infectious viral disease that causes skin lesions, often preceded or followed by influenza-like symptoms, with possible complications including significant scarring, secondary infections, pneumonia, sepsis, encephalitis, and loss of vision with severe eye infection. Monkeypox is spread through close contact that may include sexual/intimate activity; direct contact with monkeypox rash, scabs, or body fluids from a person with monkeypox; scratches/bites from an infected animal, or preparing or eating meat or using products from an infected animal; touching objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox; or contact with respiratory secretions such as saliva from someone with monkeypox coming in contact with someone’s eye or mouth. Being in a room with someone with monkeypox without the above exposures is low risk for transmission, especially if fotr less than three hours and/or greater than six feet away. Symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion
  • Respiratory symptoms (e.g. sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)
  • A rash that may be located on or near the genitals or anus, but could also be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth
    • The rash will go through several stages, including scabs, before healing.
    • The rash can look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy.

Infections with the type of monkeypox identified in the current outbreak are rarely fatal, but can be more dangerous for people with immunodeficiency and/or comorbidities. The risk level for children and pregnant people is unknown, and monkeypox may be passed from a pregnant person to a fetus.

If you believe you have come into contact with or contracted monkeypox, you may call the Dartmouth Health hotline for information, and you should isolate at home and contact your primary care provider to determine next steps with respect to your care. Visiting an emergency department immediately is not recommended.

For a full list of DHHS vaccination sites, click here.

About Dartmouth Health

Dartmouth Health, New Hampshire's only academic health system and the state's largest private employer, serves patients across northern New England. Dartmouth Health provides access to more than 2,000 providers in almost every area of medicine, delivering care at its flagship hospital, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) in Lebanon, NH, as well as across its wide network of hospitals, clinics and care facilities. DHMC is consistently named the #1 hospital in New Hampshire by U.S. News & World Report, and recognized for high performance in numerous clinical specialties and procedures. Dartmouth Health includes its Dartmouth Cancer Center, one of only 51 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the nation, and the only such center in northern New England; Dartmouth Health Children’s, including the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, the state’s only children’s hospital and clinic locations around the region; member hospitals in Lebanon, Keene and New London, NH, and Windsor, VT, and Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire; and more than 24 clinics that provide ambulatory services across New Hampshire and Vermont. Through its historical partnership with Dartmouth and the Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth Health trains nearly 400 medical residents and fellows annually, and performs cutting-edge research and clinical trials recognized across the globe with Geisel and the White River Junction VA Medical Center in White River Junction, VT. Dartmouth Health and its more than 13,000 employees are deeply committed to serving the healthcare needs of everyone in our communities, and to providing each of our patients with exceptional, personal care.