Monkeypox vaccine available for select UM students

Student Health Service building where students can receive the Monkeypox vaccine.
Student Health Service building where students can receive the Monkeypox vaccine. Photo credit: Stefania Papadopulos

As of Wed. Sep. 14, there are approximately 2,280 Monkeypox cases reported in the state of Florida with 782 of these accounted for in Miami-Dade County (MDC). With the 2022 increase in cases and a higher availability of vaccines, the University of Miami has begun offering the Monkeypox vaccine for select students.

For concerned UM students, Student Health Service announced via email on Sep. 13 that the Lennar Foundation Medical Center, located on campus, is offering the Jynneos Monkeypox vaccine for “high-risk patients.”

Though the message said that vaccines are only offered to individuals meeting the Florida Department of Health criteria, which includes laboratory personnel, health care professionals, exposed MSM (men who have sex with men) immunocompromised individuals with HIV or recent history of sexually transmitted diseases and close contacts of monkeypox, students are encouraged to take initiative if exposed to the disease.

“We have seen a few cases of monkeypox on campus and want to protect our community,” Director of Student Health Services Emilio Volz said. “If you have been exposed to monkeypox and wish to receive emergency prophylaxis please come to Student Health as soon as possible.”

Students Health Service sends informs students about Monkeypox vaccine availability on September 15, 2022.
Students Health Service sends informs students about Monkeypox vaccine availability on September 15, 2022. Photo credit: University of Miami

UM students have expressed their worries about living with another contagious virus while still in the midst of COVID-19, and fear that Monkeypox could drag them into another pandemic age. The concern of getting exposed to another virus is causing many to try to take additional precautions.

“It’s interesting to live [in a time] with both Monkeypox and COVID-19,” senior Cassandra Michel said. “I’m doing everything I can do to protect myself and those around me from getting Monkeypox.”

Michel, majoring in community and applied psychological studies, says she appreciates Student Health’s course of action in offering the vaccine.

“It’s nice to know that if students want to get vaccinated, they can on campus. I haven’t yet [gotten vaccinated] but I probably will in the near future,” Michel said.

Although sophomore Akinté Hutchinson said he does not plan on receiving the vaccine soon, the motion pictures and creative advertising major commends the precaution UM is taking.

“I am actually worried about Monkeypox,” Hutchinson said. ”It’s a less contagious disease, but its symptoms seem to be much worse, especially with appearance. UM giving out monkeypox vaccines would be great.”

Students who wish to be vaccinated can call 305-243-ONEU to schedule an appointment.