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Alexandria sent emails in error to those eligible for monkeypox vaccine

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Jynneos monkeypox vaccine. (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP/Getty Images)

The Alexandria Health Department on Wednesday mistakenly sent emails to hundreds of residents who are eligible for the monkeypox vaccine, telling them inaccurately that they weren’t eligible to get the shot.

The emails, which were computer-generated due to a glitch, went to 1,700 people who filled out vaccine interest forms online, were previously told they were eligible and in some cases already received shots, according to population health manager Natalie Talis.

The health department followed up with emails instructing recipients to disregard the previous message, Talis said.

Everyone who was eligible has been given an appointment or referral to Fairfax County, which has more vaccine supplies, she said.

“We apologize for any concern that this has caused for our residents and any confusion and we just want to make sure they have access to clear, accurate information to protect themselves,” Talis said.

The vaccine is available for residents who are 18 or older and are men who have had sex with men and have had multiple or anonymous sexual partners in the past 14 days; transgender women or nonbinary people assigned male at birth who have sex with men; sex workers; or staff at bathhouses, saunas and sex clubs.

Residents with questions can call 703-746-4988 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, or email alexhealth@vdh.virginia.gov.

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