Monkeypox Vaccine: Everything You Need to Know

JYNNEOS is a 2-dose vaccine that has been developed to protect people from both monkeypox and smallpox.

Monkeypox Vaccine: Everything You Need to Know
Detailed information on the monkeypox vaccine. Photo by CDC / Unsplash

Monkeypox (mpox) is a viral disease that is related to smallpox, caused by the monkeypox virus. It can be transmitted from animals to humans, and it has also been known to spread from human to human. JYNNEOS is a 2-dose vaccine that has been developed to protect people from both monkeypox and smallpox infections. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about the monkeypox vaccine.

Why is Vaccination Important?

Vaccination is an important tool in stopping the spread of monkeypox. People who are vaccinated should continue to avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with someone who has monkeypox. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends vaccination against monkeypox in certain situations:

  • You had known or suspected exposure to someone with monkeypox.
  • You had a sex partner in the past 2 weeks who was diagnosed with monkeypox.
  • You are a gay, bisexual, or other man who has sex with men or a transgender, nonbinary, or gender-diverse person who in the past 6 months has had any of the following:
  • A new diagnosis of one or more sexually transmitted diseases (e.g., chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis)
  • More than one sex partner
  • You have had any of the following in the past 6 months:
  • Sex at a commercial sex venue (like a sex club or bathhouse)
  • Sex related to a large commercial event or in a geographic area (city or county, for example) where monkeypox virus transmission is occurring
  • You have a sex partner with any of the above risks
  • You anticipate experiencing any of the above scenarios
  • You have HIV or other causes of immune suppression and have had recent or anticipate future risk of monkeypox exposure from any of the above scenarios.
  • You work in settings where you may be exposed to monkeypox:
  • You work with orthopoxviruses in a laboratory.
  • You are part of an orthopoxvirus and health care worker response team.

Who Should Not Get the Vaccine?

You should not get the JYNNEOS vaccine if you had a severe allergic reaction (such as anaphylaxis) after getting your first dose of the vaccine.

If you had an allergic reaction to any vaccine, you may still be vaccinated with JYNNEOS, but your healthcare provider may need to observe you for 30 minutes after you get vaccinated to make sure you don’t develop an allergic reaction.

If you had an allergic reaction to the antibiotics gentamicin or ciprofloxacin, or chicken or egg protein, talk to your healthcare provider before getting the JYNNEOS vaccine.

How is the Vaccine Given?

The JYNNEOS vaccine is given between the top layers of your skin, a process known as intradermal vaccination. The vaccine can be placed in your forearm or other areas, including your upper back just below the shoulder blade or the skin of your shoulder above the deltoid muscle.

If preferred, you can also ask for the vaccine to be given to you “subcutaneously.” This means that the vaccine will be injected into the fat layer underneath the skin on the back of your upper arm (triceps).

If you have ever had keloid scars (thick, raised scars) or are under 18, ask for the vaccine to be given to you subcutaneously.

Getting the vaccine intradermally or subcutaneously appears to be equally effective against monkeypox. Although early findings suggest that the first dose of JYNNEOS vaccine gives partial protection, a second dose is recommended to achieve full protection.

It is important to receive the vaccine from a healthcare professional who is trained in administering vaccines. The healthcare professional will use a sterile, single-use needle to inject the vaccine into your skin or fat layer. They will also monitor you for any adverse reactions after the vaccination. If you have any concerns or questions about the vaccination process, be sure to ask your healthcare provider.


In conclusion, monkeypox is a rare but serious viral disease that can cause significant health complications. The JYNNEOS vaccine is a safe and effective way to protect against monkeypox, particularly for those who work with animals or are at higher risk of exposure. While the vaccine may cause some side effects, such as soreness or redness at the injection site, these are generally mild and temporary. By getting vaccinated, individuals can take an important step towards protecting their own health and the health of their communities. As with any medical decision, it is important to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the best course of action for each individual's unique circumstances.