Two vaccines are available for preventing monkeypox infection in the United States: JYNNEOS (Imvamune or Imvanex) and ACAM2000.
JYNNEOS is the preferred vaccine for the current outbreak of monkeypox. Vaccine supply for JYNNEOS is increasing in the United States but may be limited in some areas.
In Wisconsin, JYNNEOS is currently available for the following people:
- Known close contacts who are identified by public health, and
- People with certain risk factors who are more likely to have been recently exposed to monkeypox, even if they have not had documented exposure to someone with confirmed monkeypox.
How much vaccine is available?
JYNNEOS is the vaccine most commonly used for preventing monkeypox infection in the United States. It is currently being distributed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). To date, the national vaccine supply has been very limited. Because of this, the federal government is using case counts and proportions of the population at risk for severe disease from monkeypox to determine state allocations of JYNNEOS. This has happened in phases with criteria for eligibility for use.
How is it administered?
The JYNNEOS vaccine is a two-dose vaccine series. The two doses are administered four weeks apart for maximum effectiveness. Someone who receives the JYNNEOS vaccine is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving their second dose.
- People 18 years and older can receive JYNNEOS as either an injection between the skin (intradermally) or beneath the skin (subcutaneously).
- People under the age of 18 can receive JYNNEOS only as an injection beneath the skin (subcutaneously).
The JYNNEOS vaccine does not cause smallpox, monkeypox, or any other disease. Even after getting vaccinated, it is important to continue to take steps to protect yourself from getting sick with monkeypox. Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact, including intimate contact, with someone who has monkeypox.
Are there any side effects?
Most people who receive the JYNNEOS vaccine will have only minor reactions like pain, redness, swelling, and itching at the injection site. In rare circumstances, people may experience muscle pain, headache, tiredness, nausea, chills, and fever.
Who can get the JYNNEOS vaccine?
The Department of Health Services (DHS) is currently following the CDC’s recommendation to prioritize the JYNNEOS vaccine for people at the highest risk of infection.
JYNNEOS vaccine is currently available in Wisconsin for the following people:
- Known contacts who are identified by public health via case investigation, contact tracing, and risk exposure assessments
- Presumed contacts who may meet the following criteria:
- People who know that a sexual partner in the past 14 days was diagnosed with monkeypox.
- People who attended an event or venue where there was known monkeypox exposure.
- Gay men, bisexual men, trans men and women, any men who have sex with men, and gender non-conforming/non-binary individuals, who have had multiple sexual partners in the last 14 days.
Where can I get vaccinated?
The JYNNEOS vaccine is currently only available by appointment at designated health care locations. If you are eligible for JYNNEOS, a health care provider will assist connecting you to a monkeypox vaccinator.
However, if you meet the current eligibility requirements for vaccination and a health care provider does not have vaccine available, DHS encourages individuals to wait patiently, continue to take precautions to prevent disease, and continue to check with a provider in their area. Due to an extremely limited vaccine supply, vaccine is being prioritized for those most at risk for severe disease. People who are known contacts of someone with monkeypox or who have another high-risk exposure remain the highest priority. Vaccine is also being prioritized for people with HIV or other conditions that contribute to a weakened immune system.
If you have had known close contact with an individual who was diagnosed with monkeypox, DHS encourages you to contact your local or tribal health department. DHS continues to work directly with local and tribal health departments to supply vaccine for people who had a known exposure to someone with monkeypox.
If you do not have access to a health care provider, 211 Wisconsin can provide free, confidential support finding one near you. If you do not have access to a health care provider, dial 211 or 877-947-2211, or text your ZIP code to 898-211. Find additional resources online at 211Wisconsin.org.
Can JYNNEOS be given after someone is exposed to monkeypox?
Yes. To help prevent the onset of disease, JYNNEOS should be administered within four days from the date of exposure to the monkeypox virus. If the vaccine is administered between four to 14 days after the date of exposure, getting vaccinated may help reduce the severity of symptoms associated with monkeypox infection.
Who should not be given the JYNNEOS vaccine?
People should speak with a health care provider to discuss if the JYNNEOS vaccine is safe for them if they have had:
- An allergic reaction to a previous dose of JYNNOES, OR
- An allergic reaction to an ingredient (gentamicin, ciprofloxacin, egg protein, benzonase).
People should also talk to a health care provider about getting vaccinated if they have any of the following conditions:
- Severe, life-threatening allergies.
- Are pregnant, think they can be pregnant, or breastfeeding.
- Have a weakened immune system.
Is it safe to get the JYNNEOS vaccine if you are pregnant, think you can be pregnant, or breastfeeding?
It is unknown if pregnant people are more susceptible to monkeypox infection or more severe disease during pregnancy. However, the monkeypox virus can be transmitted to the unborn baby and to the newborn through close contact during and after birth.
The JYNNEOS vaccine should be offered to people who are pregnant or breastfeeding if they are exposed to monkeypox. People who are pregnant or breastfeeding are encouraged to talk with a health care provider about the risks and benefits of getting vaccinated.
What should I do if I have a severe allergic reaction after getting vaccinated?
Call 911 immediately or go to the nearest hospital if you have signs of an allergic reaction. Signs of an allergic reaction may include:
- Swelling of the face or throat
- Difficulty breathing
- Increased heartbeat
Any adverse reaction after getting vaccinated should be reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). In most cases, a health care provider will report the incident to VAERS. However, you can choose to report the incident yourself by visiting the VAERS website or calling 800-822-7967.
VAERS staff do not provide medical advice and can only assist with reporting adverse reactions.
ACAM2000 is also authorized by the U.S Food and Drug Administration to prevent monkeypox infection. DHS will not be using the ACAM2000 vaccine. ACAM2000 carries a greater risk of certain serious side effects than JYNNEOS. ACAM2000 should not be given to:
- People with weakened immune systems,
- People with certain skin conditions such as eczema,
- People heart disease, or
- People who are pregnant, think they are pregnant, or breastfeeding.