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Monkeypox Vaccination Basics

People who are vaccinated are encouraged to continue to protect themselves from infection by avoiding skin-to-skin contact with those with monkeypox.

In the U.S., two vaccines (JYNNEOS and ACAM2000) may be used to prevent the spread of monkeypox. Monkeypox is caused by a virus that is closely related to the virus that causes smallpox. JYNNEOS, a 2-dose vaccine, was developed to protect against both monkeypox and smallpox.

The ACAM2000 vaccine is approved to help protect against smallpox and has been made available to protect against monkeypox, but is not recommended for pregnant women, infants less than 12 months old, and those with certain medical conditions such as a weakened immune system, or certain other conditions or circumstances, such as heart conditions and certain skin conditions.  Both vaccines are expected to provide a good level of protection against monkeypox.

Vaccination is an important tool in preventing the spread of monkeypox. Because there are limitations in our knowledge about the effectiveness of these vaccines, people who are vaccinated are encouraged to continue to protect themselves from infection by avoiding close, skin-to-skin contact, including intimate contact, with someone who has monkeypox.

Who Should Get Vaccinated

In the current outbreak, you may want to get vaccinated if:

  • You might have already been exposed to monkeypox if:
    • You have been identified as a close contact of someone with monkeypox.
    • You learn that one of your sex partners in the past 2 weeks has been diagnosed with monkeypox.
    • You are a man who has had sex with other men, or if you are a transgender or nonbinary person, and in the past 2 weeks you have had:
      • Sex with multiple partners or group sex.
      • Sex at a commercial sex venue (like a sex club or bathhouse).
      • Sex at an event, venue, or in an area where monkeypox transmission is occurring.
  • You might be exposed to monkeypox in the future, if:
    • You are a man who has sex with other men, or if you are a transgender or nonbinary person and in the past 6 months have had any of the following:
      • A new diagnosis of one or more sexually transmitted diseases including acute HIV, chancroid, chlamydia, or gonorrhea
      • More than one sex partner.
    • You are a person who in the past 6 months has had any of the following:
      • Sex at a commercial sex venue (like a sex club or bathhouse)
      • Sex at an event, venue, or in an area where monkeypox transmission is occurring.
    • You are a person whose sexual partner identifies with any of the above scenarios.
    • You are a person who anticipates experiencing any of the above scenarios.

Note: Information on vaccine availability in your area can be found by contacting your health department.

Keep in mind that:

  • Getting vaccinated before you are exposed to monkeypox provides the best chance to prevent disease. For best protection, 2 doses of JYNNEOS vaccine spaced 28 days apart are recommended.
  • If you have already been exposed, getting vaccinated as soon as possible after exposure to someone with monkeypox (ideally within 4 days) may help prevent the disease, or make it less severe.
  • Currently, CDC is not encouraging vaccination against monkeypox for the broader public or for everyone who is sexually active.
  • If you are eligible to get the vaccine in the skin in your forearm, but prefer a more discrete location, your provider can now give you your monkeypox shot in either the skin over your shoulder blade, or your shoulder muscle, called the deltoid.
  • If you need help deciding whether you should get vaccinated, talk to a healthcare provider or contact your local health department. They can help you determine if you should get vaccinated.
  • In addition to getting vaccinated, there are other things you can do to prevent monkeypox.

CDC will update vaccination guidance as new information becomes available.

Where You Can Get Vaccinated

  • In some large cities, monkeypox vaccines may be available at the health department, public health clinics, hospitals, or even at large social gatherings or venues where people who engage in behaviors that may increase their chances of getting monkeypox can get vaccinated.
  • In other areas, monkeypox vaccines may only be available from the health department.
  • Contact your local health department to see what the vaccination options are in your community.
  • monkeypox vaccine locator tool has been launched by Building Health Online Communities (BHOC). This tool is not affiliated with CDC but can help you find locations that provide the monkeypox vaccines near you.

Vaccine Cost

  • The monkeypox vaccines are free. Providers must give you the vaccine regardless of your ability to pay the administration fee.
  • The providers may bill a program or plan that covers the monkeypox vaccine administration fee (like your private insurance or Medicare/Medicaid).

Vaccine Distribution

Monkeypox Vaccine Q+A
Monkeypox Vaccination Basics Homeland Security Today
VIDEO

7 Questions on Monkeypox Vaccines with Dr. Daskalakis

CDC’s Dr. Demetre Daskalakis explains how JYNNEOS can be delivered in a way that allows more people to get vaccinated with existing supplies.

Video Length: 00:02:52

Watch Video

  • The U.S. government is working to expand vaccine access quickly, effectively, and equitably.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has been distributing JYNNEOS vaccine from the Strategic National Stockpile since May 2022.
  • On July 15, 2022, the U.S. government ordered an additional 2.5 million vials of JYNNEOS vaccine from the manufacturer.
  • On August 9, 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an Emergency Use Authorization allowing healthcare providers to administer a smaller dose of JYNNEOS into the skin layers of the forearm (like a tuberculosis skin test) as the preferred option to the standard dose usually given in the upper arm. This ability to use a smaller dose will increase the overall number of doses available by up to 5 times while providing similar immune response. Read the White House fact sheet on this alternative dosing regimen.
  • On September 28, 2022, the White House announced the expansion of the National Monkeypox Vaccine Strategy to include pre-exposure prophylaxis.
  • Read the overall White House National Monkeypox Vaccine Strategy

Read more at CDC

Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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