Monkeypox Vaccine FAQ

Is monkeypox deadly?
The strain of the monkeypox virus that is spreading with the current outbreak is rarely deadly . Nearly everyone who gets this form of the disease will survive. However, people with weakened immune systems, children under 8 years of age, people with a history of eczema, and people who are pregnant or breastfeeding may be more likely to get very sick or die. While this strain is rarely deadly, the symptoms can be extremely painful, and people might have permanent scarring resulting from the rash.

How can we prevent the spread of monkeypox?

In order to prevent the further spread of monkeypox in the United States, we must test and vaccinate people who may have been exposed to contain the outbreak. You can help by avoiding close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox, calling your doctor if you have a new or unexplained rash, and isolating at home if you are diagnosed with monkeypox. Some people are eligible for monkeypox vaccination. Read on to learn the details.

Is there a vaccine for preventing monkeypox infection?

Yes, there are two vaccines: JYNNEOS and ACAM2000. JYNNEOS is the preferred vaccine for nearly everyone. You can read more about the differences in the vaccines on the CDC website .

Is there enough vaccine?

Vaccine supply is increasing in the United States. To see where you can get vaccination in Wisconsin, please click here.

Is the vaccine effective?
  • When given before or shortly after a recent exposure, vaccines can help protect people from getting sick with monkeypox. However, no data are available yet on the effectiveness of these vaccines in the current outbreak.
  • To better understand the benefits of these vaccines in the current outbreak, CDC will collect data on any side effects and whether the way the person was infected makes any difference in how well the vaccine protects them.
How many doses do I need?
  • The JYNNEOS vaccine is a two-dose series given at least 28 days apart. People are fully vaccinated about 2 weeks after their second shot of JYNNEOS.
  • Even once vaccinated, people should protect themselves from infection  by avoiding close, skin-to-skin contact, including intimate contact, with someone who has monkeypox.
Who is eligible to get a vaccine?

JYNNEOS vaccine is being allocated for use for the following individuals:

  • Known contacts who are identified by public health through case investigation, contact tracing, and risk exposure assessments
  • People who know that a sexual partner in the past 14 days was diagnosed with monkeypox.
  • People considered to have elevated risk of exposure to monkeypox in the future:
    • Gay men, bisexual men, trans men and women, any men who have sex with men, and gender non-conforming/non-binary individuals who:
      • Have recently had multiple or anonymous sex partners. This may include people living with HIV and people who take HIV pre-exposure because of increased risk of sexually transmitted infections.
      • Have new diagnosis of one or more nationally reportable sexually transmitted diseases (for example, acute HIV, chancroid, chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis).
    • People who attended or had sex at a commercial sex venue or an event or venue where there was known monkeypox transmission or exposure.
    • Sexual partners of people with the above risks.
    • People who anticipate experiencing the above risks.
  • People in certain occupational exposure risk groups:
    • Clinical laboratory personnel who perform testing to diagnose orthopoxviruses, including those who use polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays for diagnosis of orthopoxviruses, including Monkeypox virus.
    • Research laboratory workers who directly handle cultures or animals contaminated or infected with orthopoxviruses that infect humans, including Monkeypox virus, replication-competent Vaccinia virus, or recombinant Vaccinia viruses derived from replication-competent Vaccinia virus strains.Laboratory staff working with lesion swabs that may contain orthopoxviruses. This includes staff that handle swabs of lesions from suspect monkeypox cases or test for things other than orthopoxviruses, including Varicella zoster virus or Herpes virus. This also includes microbiologists that do standard bacterial cultures from these lesion swabs.
    • Certain health care providers working in sexual health clinics or other specialty settings directly caring for patients with sexually transmitted infections.
How does JYNNEOS work?
  • JYNNEOS contains a live virus that does not replicate efficiently in human cells.
  • The vaccine is administered as two injections, four weeks apart.
  • It takes 2 weeks after the second dose to reach full effectiveness.  
Are there side effects for JYNNEOS?
  • Some people report pain, swelling, and redness at the injection site.
  • People with a severe allergy to any part of the vaccine (gentamicin, ciprofloxacin, egg protein) should not get it.
When can I get vaccinated?

You can get vaccinationed if you have already been exposed to monkeypox OR if you might be exposed to monkeypox in the future.

  • CDC recommends that the vaccine be given within 4 days from the date of exposure for the best chance to prevent onset of the disease.
  • If given between 4 and 14 days after the date of exposure, vaccination may reduce the symptoms of disease, but may not prevent the disease.

Where can I get vaccinated?
The Winnebago County Health Department is currently providing the JYNNEOS vaccine to those eligible. To make an appointment please call 920-232-3026 or email wchd.cd@winnebagocountywi.gov. To see where you can get vaccination in Wisconsin please click here.