Two vaccines for monkeypox are licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA): JYNNEOS and ACAM2000.
JYNNEOS is licensed for adults 18 years and older and is administered as a two-dose series at least 4 weeks apart. People are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after receiving their second dose. It is a non-replicating virus vaccine, so it is safe to give to individuals who are immunocompromised, have skin conditions or are pregnant/nursing. In the United States, there is currently a limited supply of JYNNEOS, although more is expected in coming weeks and months.
ACAM2000 is a single dose vaccine, and people are considered fully vaccinated 4 weeks after receiving the vaccine. ACAM2000 is a live virus vaccine so it is recommended that ACAM2000 not be used in people who have some health conditions, including a weakened immune system, skin conditions like atopic dermatitis/eczema or pregnancy.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people who have been exposed to monkeypox be given the monkeypox vaccine to prevent them from developing the disease. This is called post-exposure prophylaxis, or PEP. PEP is most effective at preventing monkeypox if the vaccine is administered within 4 days of exposure. If given between 4–14 days after the date of exposure, vaccination may help reduce symptoms, but may not prevent the infection from developing.
Because there is a limited supply of monkeypox vaccines, the following at-risk populations are being prioritized for vaccination:
- People who have a known exposure to monkeypox.
- People who have a likely exposure to monkeypox, such as those who attended an event or venue where there was known monkeypox exposure.
- Individuals at occupational risk of encountering monkeypox, including laboratory workers who perform monkeypox testing, and clinical and public health workers who collect monkeypox specimens.
- Individuals at risk of exposure to monkeypox, including gay, bisexual, trans and other men who have sex with men.
Vaccination is currently being performed through local Departments of Health.