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Minnesota health care providers are working to provide access to monkeypox testing and vaccinations as the number of confirmed cases within the state continues to climb. 

The latest data on Wednesday showed 28 confirmed cases of the virus in Minnesota — that's an additional nine cases since Monday. 

Doug Schultz, a spokesperson with the Minnesota Department of Health, said the state has so far received 3,000 doses of the Jynneos vaccine. 

The limited doses are being provided to local public health departments and other health systems in hopes of vaccinating patients believed to be at the highest risk of contracting monkeypox. 

"We are distributing proportionately based on where we are seeing cases and highest-risk individuals," Schultz said, adding most doses are located in the Twin Cities metro, but some doses are available in greater Minnesota. 

According to MDH, vaccines are being reserved for people ages 18 years or older who do not have monkeypox symptoms and meet certain criteria. 

They are:

Known Exposure

Under the MDH guidelines, someone may be eligible for a vaccine if they've been exposed to someone within the last 14 days who has been diagnosed with monkeypox. 

A person may also be eligible if they've been exposed to someone who is awaiting test results, but has been told by their health care provider that their symptoms are highly suggestive of the virus. 

Increased risk of exposure 

Men who have sex with men are currently considered at the highest risk of monkeypox infection. 

These individuals may be able to receive a vaccine in Minnesota if one of the following applies, according to MDH guidelines. 

  • Attended an event/venue in the last 21 days where intimate, sexual contact with >1 partner occurred.
  • Have been treated for a sexually transmitted infection in the last 14 days.
  • Has had >1 partner in the past 14 days and reports at least one of the following: Living with HIV; on HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP); living with an immune-comprising condition; or deemed at a high risk for monkeypox infection based on clinical judgement or public health recommendation. 

Vaccinating after exposure 

According to MDH, vaccinations given within four days from the first date of monkeypox exposure may prevent the onset of the disease. 

Vaccinations given within 4-14 days after the first date of exposure may not prevent infection, but may decrease the severity of the illness. 

More on Monkeypox testing 

Monkeypox testing is conducted by directly swabbing a lesion and sending the sample off to a lab for testing. 

Officials with both M Health Fairview and Allina Health have confirmed monkeypox testing is available to their patients anywhere care is received. 

That includes in the emergency department or during a visit with a primary care doctor or specialist. 

Gretchen Moen, the clinical director of the Dakota Child and Family Clinic in Burnsville, said monkeypox testing results are usually available within 2-3 days. 

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