Maybe, depending on your individual circumstances. As of August 2022, mpox vaccines are recommended for people who are at higher risk during the current outbreak (a list of who that includes is provided below).
There are multiple available vaccines to prevent mpox. In consultation with your healthcare provider, people at higher risk for infection may consider vaccination. The mpox vaccines can also prevent infection if given immediately after exposure to an infected person.
The vaccines that prevent mpox are JYNNEOS and ACAM2000. They were originally developed to protect against the orthopox family of viruses and used to be used for smallpox vaccination. Each vaccine carries its own benefits and risks, and the vaccines (especially ACAM2000) do have some potential for side effects. JYNNEOS is the preferred vaccine for most people, but while the U.S. works to ramp up supply there are some administration changes being made to make as much vaccine available to as many high-risk people as possible.
For these reasons, it’s important to seek a vaccine if you are at higher risk and to discuss with a healthcare provider if you can. You can read more about the vaccines that protect against mpox here.
People at higher risk includes anyone who has:
- Been identified by public health officials as a contact of someone with confirmed mpox
- Recently had contact with someone who had a rash that looks like monkeypox or someone who has been diagnosed with mpox
- Had multiple sexual partners in the past 2 weeks in an area with known mpox
- A job that may expose them to orthopox viruses, such as laboratory workers who handle orthopoxvirus samples and some designated healthcare or public health workers
Vaccines are being distributed by local and state health departments. Contact your doctor or health department to find out how you can access a vaccine in your area.