COLUMBIA, S.C. (WBTW) — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is offering monkeypox vaccines to some groups, the agency announced on Wednesday.
The federal government has allocated 1,500 vaccines to South Carolina, which are being distributed on a case-by-case basis, according to DHEC.
Transgender individuals and men who have sex with men and are over the age of 18 are currently eligible, according to Linda Bell, the state epidemiologist. Doctors can also make exceptions.
Bell stressed that anyone can be infected.
“It’s important to make this distinction because we don’t want to stigmatize any group,” she said. “There’s simply no such thing as a ‘gay disease.’”
There are 23 confirmed cases in South Carolina, according to DHEC. Of those, six are in the Upstate, 10 are in the Midlands and seven are in the Lowcountry.
Bell said the state has requested 5,200 more vaccines.
While doses are limited, she said, testing isn’t, and DHEC is doing contact tracing to contain the virus.