One-hundred-thirty people signed up for the first of two monkeypox vaccination events at Northwestern University Thursday.

As with COVID-19, the monkeypox shots have two doses, with 28 days in between. The second session, also at Northwestern’s Student Health Service, will be on Nov. 17.

Advance registration is required. As long as vaccines are available, it will also be possible to get a first shot during the November clinic, and the second vaccination at a different location in the Chicago area.

While the NU clinics are on campus, they are done in conjunction with the city, and are not restricted to NU students and staff. Evanston residents are also eligible. Each Northwestern session has 200 doses on hand.

Student Health Service, Searle Hall, 633 Emerson.

The shots are not a cure, but rather are intended to reduce the likelihood of catching the virus.

NU’s Student Health Service says monkeypox can cause “painful and potentially scarring blisters, rash, and swelling.”

An image of the Monkeypox rash. (Pavlova Yuliia/

According to experts, the monkeypox virus is generally spread via person-to-person contact.

The city’s Health and Human Services Department says such exchange of “respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex” is often the reason for the spread, along with “direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or bodily fluids.”

None of the dozen or so in line at the first clinic mid-morning wanted to be interviewed when questioned by a reporter, nor even allow their pictures to be taken from the back, with no faces shown.

One person in the line said the reason is that many of those being vaccinated are in “marginalized populations.”

The NU health service says someone who is “sexually active bisexual, gay, and other same gender-loving men or sexually active transgender individuals” or their partners should consider getting the vaccine.

Monkeypox is very rare. The city says there have been only 10 cases total so far through Oct. 20, with one hospitalization.

COVID-19, on the other hand, while significantly diminished, is still out there.

Northwestern reports 39 cases COVID for the most recent reporting period, Oct. 7-13.

More information about monkeypox symptoms, treatment, and vaccinations is available online.

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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