Virtua Pride Primary Care to Provide Monkeypox Vaccine for Eligible Individuals
Office is only provider of monkeypox vaccine in Burlington County,
according to state’s vaccine website
Sept. 21, 2022 - To best meet the care needs of its community, Virtua Health’s Pride Primary Care practice – dedicated to the health needs of LGBTQ+ people and allies – now offers the monkeypox vaccine. The vaccine can prevent the illness in those deemed at high risk for exposure to the virus. And it can lessen symptoms in those with a confirmed diagnosis – especially when given quickly after the appearance of symptoms, ideally within four days. The vaccine is provided at no cost to recipients.
“Virtua Pride Primary Care is a place where people can receive compassionate, quality health screenings and services in a judgment-free environment,” said Dr. Sam Weiner, chief medical officer for Virtua Medical Group. “Offering the monkeypox vaccine is a new way we can demonstrate that commitment to personalized, inclusive care.”
Anyone can contract monkeypox, regardless of age, race/ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, some people are statistically at a higher risk. In an August interview, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said that 98 percent of U.S. monkeypox cases are occurring in men, and that the majority of those men reported recent sexual contact with other men.
Virtua’s Dr. Weiner encourages anyone who thinks they may benefit from the monkeypox vaccine to review the CDC’s eligibility criteria. Those eligible for the vaccine are not required to be patients of the practice or Virtua. Appointments are required, as the practice cannot accommodate walk-in vaccine requests at this time.
Anyone interested in learning more or becoming a patient of Virtua Pride Primary Care, located in Marlton, N.J., is invited to call 856-355-7144 or register online at virtua.org/pride.
According to the State of New Jersey, there have been 661 probable and confirmed monkeypox cases in the state – and 41 hospitalizations – as of Sept. 20, 2022. Although Hudson and Essex counties in northern New Jersey have seen the most monkeypox cases, Camden County accounts for 5 percent of the state’s total.
Virtua Pride Primary Care opened in June 2022 and has quickly developed a patient base, speaking to the need for dedicated LGBTQ+ health services in the region. The practice’s physicians – Dr. Shanin Gross and Dr. Richard Levine – and several members of the practice staff identify as LGBTQ+.
“We will ask you about your pronouns. We will listen to your questions,” Dr. Weiner said. “Our goal is to build relationships that help people live their healthiest, happiest lives.”