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Dallas County opens drive-thru monkeypox vaccine clinic

Appointments are required at the clinic that opened Thursday at DCHHS headquarters.

DALLAS — The orange cones and white tents now set up in the parking lot of Dallas County Health and Human Services’ main headquarters off Stemmons look familiar.

Drive-thru vaccine clinics were the norm for many months during COVID, but this time the virus and vaccine have changed.

“This is a much smaller operation, but certainly it takes us back to a year or two ago,” said DCHHS spokesman Christian Grisales.

Dallas County is the center of Texas’s monkeypox outbreak with almost 350 cases as of Thursday – more than any other county in the state.

A new shipment of monkeypox vaccines arrived in Dallas this week, enabling the county to expand eligibility and launch the drive-thru site.

“We’re able to do this because we’re getting vaccines,” Grisales said.

The site is at 2377 N. Stemmons Freeway in Dallas.

It is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day, but it’s only for eligible patients who make an appointment through Dallas County. The county’s monkeypox hotline is (972) 692-2780.

Grisales said eligibility for the vaccine in Dallas has been slightly expanded. 

Here are the current requirements:

  • Anyone who has had direct, skin to skin contact with someone who has monkeypox
  • Men (cisgender and transgender) and transwomen who are at least 18 who have had multiple or anonymous sex partners in the past 14 days
  • Men (cisgender and transgender) and transwomen who met sexual partners online, through an app, or at a bar or party in the past 14 days.

Many of the first monkeypox cases in Dallas County were originally traced to a July 4 weekend festival that attracted many LGBTQ community members, but health leaders continue to stress that anyone can contract monkeypox.

“Yes, there’s a disproportional effect right now happening within the LGBTQ plus community, but at the same time we’re seeing transmissions happen to members of the community who are not LGBTQ plus,” said Dallas City Councilmember Omar Narvaez during a monkeypox panel discussion in early August.

Grisales said DCHHS administered about 125 vaccines the first day the drive-thru clinic opened.

Other counties in North Texas are slowly beginning to receive vaccine shipments as well.

Tarrant County had 78 cases as of Thursday. The county is offering the vaccine through its health department and through community-based clinics.

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