Monkeypox Vaccine

If you have monkeypox symptoms, you should contact your medical provider right away. If you do not have a provider, use your free MyNortonChart account to schedule a Norton eCare telehealth visit. Do not schedule a vaccination if you are exhibiting COVID-19 or monkeypox symptoms.

Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is not encouraging mass vaccination for monkeypox for the general public, for all health care workers or for all sexually active people. The CDC recommends monkeypox vaccines for people who have been exposed to the virus, ideally within four days, and those who may be more likely to get the disease.

People more likely to get monkeypox include:

  • People who have been identified by public health officials as a contact of someone with monkeypox
  • People who are aware that one of their sexual partners in the past two weeks has been diagnosed with monkeypox
  • People who had multiple sexual partners in the past two weeks in an area with known monkeypox
  • People whose jobs may expose them to orthopoxviruses, such as:
    • Laboratory workers who perform testing for orthopoxviruses
    • Laboratory workers who handle cultures or animals with orthopoxviruses
    • Some designated health care or public health workers

Jynneos Vaccine

The Jynneos vaccine was approved in 2019 for prevention of smallpox and monkeypox disease in adults ages 18 years and older who are determined to be at high risk for smallpox or monkeypox infection. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in early August 2022 approved emergency use authorization to allow for two shots, each containing a fraction of the normal dosage, given 28 days apart.

While it isn’t known whether the fractional dose will provide long-lasting protection, allowing smaller doses will increase the vaccine supply up to fivefold, according to the FDA.

The smallpox/monkeypox vaccine is made with weakened live vaccinia virus and cannot cause smallpox, monkeypox or any other disease, according to the CDC.

The smallpox/monkeypox vaccine may be given at the same time as other vaccines. Certain people at increased risk of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle), including adolescent or young adult males, might consider waiting four weeks after getting the monkeypox vaccine before getting an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

If you are getting the monkeypox vaccine, you should talk with your health care provider if you:

  • Have had an allergic reaction after a previous dose of smallpox vaccine or have any severe, life-threatening allergies
  • Have a weakened immune system
  • Are pregnant or might be pregnant, or are breastfeeding

If you have been recommended to receive Jynneos due to an exposure to monkeypox virus, you should be vaccinated regardless of concurrent illnesses, pregnancy, breastfeeding or weakened immune system.

Risks of a Vaccine Reaction

  • Redness, soreness, swelling and itching where the shot is given are the most common things that happen after getting the monkeypox vaccine.
  • Fatigue (tiredness), headache, and muscle pain also sometimes can happen after vaccination with Jynneos.

Patients receiving the monkeypox vaccine should expect to wait a minimum of 15 minutes or up to 30 minutes following the vaccination for a routine observation period.

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