Mpox Vaccine Recommendations

For a summary of mpox vaccine recommendations, visit Mpox Vaccination Basics.

The virus that causes mpox is related to the virus that causes smallpox. JYNNEOS is a 2-dose vaccine developed to protect against mpox and smallpox. People need to get both doses of the vaccine for the best protection against mpox. The second dose should be given 4 weeks after the first dose.

Vaccination is an important tool in stopping the spread of mpox. People who are vaccinated should continue to avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with someone who has mpox.

CDC recommends vaccination against mpox if:

  • You had known or suspected exposure to someone with mpox
  • You had a sex partner in the past 2 weeks who was diagnosed with mpox
  • 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 mpox virus transmission is occurring
  • You have a sex partner with any of the above risks
  • You anticipate experiencing any of the above scenarios
  • You are at risk for occupational exposure to orthopoxviruses (e.g., certain people who work in a laboratory or a healthcare facility).

You should NOT get the vaccine if:

You had a severe allergic reaction (such as anaphylaxis) after getting a previous dose of the JYNNEOS vaccine or to a vaccine component.

Talk to your healthcare provider if you had an allergic reaction to the antibiotics gentamicin or ciprofloxacin, or chicken or egg protein.

How the vaccine is given

  • The vaccine can be given to you subcutaneously, which means that the vaccine will be injected in the fat layer underneath the skin on the back of your upper arm (the area above the tricep muscle).
  • Or, the vaccine may be given between the top layers of your skin. This is called an intradermal vaccination. It 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.
  • You and your provider can discuss which method to use.
  • Intradermal vaccination may leave a mark that others can see on your forearm. If that concerns you, you have several options:
    • Ask for the vaccine to be given to you subcutaneously.
    • Ask to get the vaccine in the skin of your upper back (just below the shoulder blade) or the skin of your shoulder (the area above the deltoid muscle).
  • If you have ever had keloid scars (thick, raised scars), ask for the vaccine to be given to you subcutaneously.
  • If you are under 18 years of age, you should be given the vaccine subcutaneously.
  • Getting the vaccine intradermally or subcutaneously is equally effective against mpox.

Although findings suggest that the first dose of JYNNEOS vaccine gives some protection against mpox, two doses are recommended to provide stronger protection. Whether you get the vaccine subcutaneously or intradermally, you should still get two doses. The second dose should be given 4 weeks (28 days) after the first dose. If you can’t get your second dose on time, you should get it as soon as possible to complete the series.

Side effects

Not everyone has side effects, but some people do. The most common side effects after JYNNEOS vaccination are pain, redness, and itching at the spot where the vaccine is given. You might also experience fever, headache, tiredness, nausea, chills, and muscle aches. These are signs that your immune system is responding, not that you’re getting sick.

When JYNNEOS vaccine is given intradermally, some people have reported less pain after vaccination but more side effects like itching, swelling, redness, thickening of the skin, and skin discoloration at the spot where the vaccine was given. Some of these side effects may last for several weeks. If you have concerns about receiving the vaccine intradermally, you can ask for the vaccine to be given to you subcutaneously in the fat layer underneath the skin on the back of your upper arm (triceps).

How long it takes for the vaccine to work

You can start to have an immune response after the first dose of JYNNEOS, but it takes two weeks after the second dose to be the most protected.

It’s not known how long protection might last, or if protection might decrease over time. CDC is analyzing the current data and conducting studies to enhance the knowledge on how well the JYNNEOS vaccine works during the current mpox outbreak, as well as how long protection might last. These studies will be used to make future vaccine recommendations.

Where you can get vaccinated

In some large cities, mpox vaccines may be available at the health department, public health clinics, hospitals, pharmacies or even at large social gatherings or venues.

Vaccine cost

  • After April 1, 2024, the cost of JYNNEOS vaccine may be covered by some health insurance plans. Learn more about how to pay for vaccines.
  • Federal agencies are working to incorporate JYNNEOS vaccine into their programs to support broad access to this vaccine, including among people who are uninsured and underinsured.