BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — As the monkeypox virus continues to spread across the country, now in almost every state Kern County hosted its first monkeypox vaccine clinics with appointments completely filled.

Amid the growing worry caused by the spread of monkeypox, Kern County Public Health opened its doors this weekend for free vaccine clinics.

“The current vaccine that’s being offered is for adults. The current vaccine that we are using is approved for both smallpox and monkeypox,” Kimberly Hernandez with Kern County Public Health said.

Monkeypox is a rare disease but numbers are steadily rising across the country.

“It typically presents with a fever and a rash,” Hernandez said. “The rash is typically a tell-tale symptom. It goes through a series of progression where the rash will develop. It evolves into lesions and those lesions can have fluid that secrets out of them.”

These symptoms can take up to a month to go away.

“I travel a lot and then I’m also going to Florida for a wedding,” Arturo Valle an attendee at the monkeypox vaccine clinic said. “So I’m not trying to like get like anyone sick I don’t want to get myself sick. I’m just trying to do my own part.”

The CDC is now tracking more than 7,500 cases around the country. The largest outbreaks in New York, California and Florida. Here in Kern County, public health officials have confirmed six cases of the virus.

“This clinic is actually amazing,” Christian Gaytan an attendee at the monkeypox vaccine clinic said. “COVID is still on the rise and so when new diseases and viruses come out we have to combat them so they don’t last as long as COVID has lasted.”

Health officials said they gave out 177 shots at Sunday’s clinic.

If you think you’ve been exposed to monkeypox you should contact your health care provider as soon as possible.

The next monkeypox vaccine clinic will be next Saturday, Aug. 13, at 10 a.m. at the Richard Prado East Bakersfield Senior Center at 2101 Ridge Road. You can follow this link for more information about registration from Kern County Public Health.