What is the mpox vaccine?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recommend vaccination for people who have been exposed to mpox and people who may be at risk for mpox.
The JYNNEOS vaccine is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prevent both mpox and smallpox. Vaccination helps protect against mpox when given before or shortly after an exposure. This vaccine is currently available in the United States from the federal Strategic National Stockpile.
For more information on mpox vaccines for Providers and Local Heath Departments, please see the Mpox Vaccine Provider and Local Health Department Q&A.
Who is currently recommended to receive the vaccine?
Any person who MAY be at risk for mpox infection or persons who request vaccination may receive vaccination without having to report specific risk factors.
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 infections (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
- Sex in exchange for money or other items
- 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 mpox exposure from any of the above scenarios.
- You work in settings where you may be exposed to mpox:
- You work with orthopoxviruses in a laboratory
When should the vaccine be given after an exposure?
The JYNNEOS vaccine should be given within 4 days from the date of exposure, if possible, to help prevent disease. If given 4–14 days after the date of exposure, vaccination may reduce the symptoms of the illness, but may not prevent infection.
How can I get the vaccine?
Contact your health care provider to see if they have the JYNNEOS vaccine. If your health care provider does not have the vaccine or you do not have a healthcare provider, use the Mpox Vaccine Locator or MyTurn to find a location. If you have trouble obtaining the vaccine, please contact your local health department for further guidance.
How is the vaccine given?
The JYNNEOS vaccine is given through a shot (injection). The JYNNEOS vaccine can be given in two methods:
- The standard method is a subcutaneous injection which is a shot given beneath the skin in the upper arm. This method has been approved for people 18 years or older and is also authorized under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for people under 18 years of age.
- Under newer guidelines from the FDA and CDC, the vaccine can also be given through intradermal injection, in the skin layer underneath the epidermis (which is the upper skin layer) for people 18 years or older. Intradermal injection is typically given in the forearm and requires a smaller amount of vaccine than the subcutaneous injection to create a similar immune response. Intradermal injection can also be given in the upper arm or on the back below the shoulder blade.
Public health jurisdictions and healthcare providers have the flexibility to offer the intradermal or subcutaneous regimen, balancing optimal vaccine use and acceptance, feasibility of administration, and available vaccine supply. People of any age with a history of developing keloid scars, and individuals younger than 18 years of age, should receive the vaccine via the subcutaneous route. CDC recommends people get two JYNNEOS doses four weeks apart.
How protected am I after getting the vaccine?
Mpox vaccines are thought to be effective at protecting people against mpox or making symptoms less severe when given before or soon after exposure to mpox. Initial studies have shown some protection even from a single dose of the JYNNEOS vaccine, however a person is not considered fully vaccinated until they have received 2 doses of JYNNEOS vaccine.
Because they may not be completely protected, even after receiving 2 doses of the JYNNEOS vaccine, vaccinated individuals are still recommended to take additional measures to protect themselves against catching or spreading mpox, and to isolate at home when they have a rash or other symptoms until they have confirmed whether they have mpox.
CDPH will continue to monitor the effectiveness of the JYNNEOS vaccine during the current outbreak.
What is CDPH's policy on second doses?
CDPH strongly recommends that all eligible individuals complete their JYNNEOS vaccine series by receiving their second dose at least 28 days after their first dose.
A person who is diagnosed with mpox after their first dose of JYNNEOS should not receive a second dose at this time (unless they are immunocompromised).
When am I considered fully vaccinated?
Individuals are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after receiving their second dose of the JYNNEOS vaccine.
Who should NOT receive the vaccine?
People who have had a serious allergic reaction to a previous dose of the JYNNEOS vaccine or a component in the vaccine should talk to their health care provider to see if it is safe to receive the vaccine.
While you may still be able to be vaccinated with JYNNEOS if you have the following conditions, please tell your vaccination provider if you:
- Have any severe, life-threatening allergies
- Are pregnant or think you may be pregnant
- Are breastfeeding
- Have a weakened immune system
The JYNNEOS vaccine is not recommended for someone with symptoms or who has tested positive for mpox.
What are the side effects?
Most people who get the JYNNEOS vaccine have minor reactions. These may include pain, redness, swelling, firmness, or itching where the shot was given, especially for intradermal injection (between layers of the skin). There may also be muscle pain, headaches, nausea, chills, or feeling tired. There is a small chance of fever. As with any medicine, there is a very small chance of a vaccine causing a severe allergic reaction.
What if I have a severe allergic reaction?
If you have signs of a severe allergic reaction (such as hives, swelling of the face or throat, difficulty breathing, a fast heartbeat, or dizziness), call 911 immediately or go to the nearest hospital. For other concerns, contact a health care provider.
Adverse events that occur in a recipient following mpox vaccination should be reported to V-safe. Reporting is encouraged for any clinically significant adverse event, even if it is uncertain whether the vaccine caused the event. Information on how to submit a report is available at the V-safe website or by calling 1- 800-232-4636.
Can I get the vaccine if I am pregnant or might be pregnant?
Pregnant individuals should discuss risks and benefits of the JYNNEOS vaccine with their health care providers. While data on the risks of JYNNEOS vaccination during pregnancy are limited, mpox infection during pregnancy is associated with complications, including severe congenital infection, pregnancy loss, and maternal mortality.
Can I get the vaccine if I am breastfeeding?
Yes, individuals who are breastfeeding may receive the JYNNEOS vaccine if they are at risk. It is unknown whether JYNNEOS is passed through human breast milk or if there are any effects on either the breastfed infant or milk production. However, because JYNNEOS vaccine does not contain a virus that replicates, babies cannot get mpox infection from the vaccine if it is transmitted through breast milk. Individuals should discuss risks and benefits of vaccination with their health care providers.
How can I lock my vaccine record so that it is only visible to my health care provider and public health authorities?
Patients have the right to 'lock' their record in the California Immunization Registry (CAIR) so that immunization information is only visible to the patient's health care provider and public health authorities. Patients have the right to review their vaccine record and can decline to share their vaccine record with other CAIR users. To request to lock your My CAIR Record, complete the
Request to Lock My CAIR Record form and follow the directions to electronically submit the form. If you experience issues when attempting to submit the request, please contact the CAIR Help Desk at
What if I want to reverse the “lock” on my vaccine record?
If a patient changes their mind about limiting access, they can request the vaccine record be ‘unlocked’ at any time by completing the Request to Unlock My CAIR Record form and following the directions to electronically submit the form.