The lingering COVID-19 pandemic is still resulting in 400 deaths a day in the United States, the good news is, however, that we've got Omicron specific vaccines coming soon and the anti-viral drug Paxlovid is being widely used to quell symptoms and prevent severe illness.

The "Spanish Flu" pandemic of 1918 lasted about three years and we hope the COVID pandemic doesn't last much longer than that, as the three year anniversary will be here in March.

Just when we thought the health scares were over for awhile, the news of monkeypox arrived a few months ago. Some thought it was overhyped, some took it seriously.

Although monkeypox is not nearly as deadly as COVID-19 was/can be, Berkshire Health Systems is taking the threat seriously and in accordance with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and is preparing for two vaccine clinics.


Monkeypox is a rare disease that can make you sick, including a rash, which may look like pimples or blisters, often with an earlier flu-like illness. Monkeypox can spread to anyone through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact. Anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has monkeypox is at risk, but early data suggest that gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men make up a high number of cases.

Monkeypox is spread through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact such as:

· Direct contact with monkeypox rash or scabs from a person with monkeypox.

· Touching objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox.

· Contact with fluids from the mouth, nose, throat, or lungs from a person with monkeypox.

Is Everyone Eligible For The Monkeypox Vaccine?


Here are the details courtesy of Berkshire Health Systems:

There is a two-dose vaccine for monkeypox, however vaccine supply is very limited and is being managed by the state. You may be eligible for vaccination to reduce the risk of disease after an exposure if you live or work in Massachusetts and meet the current eligibility criteria:

· You are a known contact identified by public health via case investigation, contact tracing, and risk exposure assessments (this may include sexual partners, household contacts, and healthcare workers)

· You know that a sexual partner in the past 14 days was diagnosed with monkeypox

· You have had multiple sexual partners in the past 14 days in an area with known monkeypox

Berkshire Health Systems will host two monkeypox vaccine clinics at our locations in Pittsfield and North Adams. To determine vaccination eligibility or schedule an appointment, call the BMC LINK line (855-262-5465). The LINK line is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. Appointments are required to get vaccinated.

Saturday, September 17
1st Dose Clinic
Pittsfield (505 East Street): 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
North Adams (98 Church Street): 2:00pm to 4:00 pm

Saturday, October 15
2nd Dose Clinic
Pittsfield (505 East Street): 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
North Adams (98 Church Street): 2:00pm to 4:00 pm


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