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Monkeypox clinic opens in Norfolk, appointments necessary

The Virginia Department of Health says the threat level of monkeypox is low, but eligible adults should still be vaccinated.

NORFOLK, Va. — A mass vaccination site at Military Circle Mall has reopened after two months of closing its doors, and this time health officials are offering monkeypox vaccinations. 

All vaccinations must be scheduled through appointments and walk-ins will be turned away.

"This is to control how many people we are serving in the given area at a time," said Dr. Sulola Adekoya with the Virginia Department of Health. "We are prepared to offer as many vaccinations as needed, you need only make an appointment."

In Virginia, the state reported more than 400 total cases of monkeypox. In Norfolk, that number is closer to 18 cases. 

Dr. Adekoya said while the threat level of monkeypox spreading remains low, all eligible adults should consider getting the vaccine.

"We're really trying to de-stigmatize the disease and just know that an infection can happen," said Dr. Adekoya. "Anyone with this disease, if a household member has it, and they have a child and they sleep in the same bed - they can infect others."

In some cases, people traveled over a hundred miles in order to get vaccinated. One man, who identified as "Yohan" told 13News Now that he traveled all the way from Charlottesville to get his vaccination.

"I drive two and a half hours to get here," said Yohan. "This was the earliest spot for me..."

Norfolk health leaders said they will continue to offer vaccination appointments for however long the public wants them. The clinic will be open every Monday and Wednesday at Military Circle Mall from 3 to 6 p.m.

Appointments can be made online at the Virginia Department of Health's website, click here for more information. 

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