Monkeypox Vaccine: Treatment and Prevention

The Monkeypox virus can be deadly to both animals and humans, and there is no known cure. The good news is that there is a vaccine available that may help to prevent the disease or make it less severe if you do contract it. 

While prevention is always the best medicine, getting vaccinated after a recent exposure may reduce the chance of you getting monkeypox—it can also reduce symptoms if you get infected. If you think you have been exposed to the monkeypox virus, please see a doctor immediately and tell them about your exposure. Early diagnosis and treatment are critical to preventing serious complications.

What happens if I test positive for monkeypox?

If you test positive for monkeypox, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. There is no specific treatment for monkeypox, but patients can be treated for their symptoms. Early diagnosis and treatment are critical to preventing serious complications.

Patients who test positive for monkeypox will be quarantined and monitored closely by health officials. Those who have been in close contact with the patient will also be quarantined and monitored for symptoms.

What monkeypox vaccines are available and how do they work?

There are two monkeypox vaccines that are currently licensed in the United States:

JYNNEOS vaccine

The JYNNEOS vaccine is approved for people determined to be at high risk for infection for the prevention of smallpox and monkeypox. It is the primary vaccine being used during this outbreak in the U.S. JYNNEOS vaccine is licensed for people 18 years of age and older and is given in two doses, two weeks apart.

ACAM2000 vaccine

The smallpox (vaccinia) vaccine, ACAM2000, is an alternative to JYNNEOS. It is also approved to help protect against smallpox and monkeypox. ACAM2000 vaccine is recommended as a single dose given by multiple pricks to the skin using a special needle. You are considered vaccinated against monkeypox 28 days after getting the single vaccine dose.

The smallpox vaccine has been used for many years and is known to be safe and effective.  These vaccines are designed to protect against the virus that causes monkeypox. They work by causing your body to produce immunity, or resistance, to the virus.

Who should get vaccinated against monkeypox?

If you have been identified as a close contact of someone with monkeypox, you may want to get vaccinated. The vaccine is effective at preventing the disease, and it can help you avoid any serious complications. In addition, getting vaccinated will also protect any future sex partners you have. If you learn that one of your sex partners in the past 2 weeks has been diagnosed with monkeypox, you may want to get vaccinated.

The smallpox vaccine is recommended for people who are traveling to areas where monkeypox is found. It is also recommended for people who work with animals or laboratory samples that could be infected with the virus.

If you need help deciding whether you should get vaccinated, talk to a healthcare provider. They can help you determine if you should get vaccinated.

What are the side effects of the monkeypox vaccine?

The smallpox and JYNNEOS vaccines are generally safe. The most common side effect is a mild reaction at the injection site, which usually goes away within a few days.

More serious side effects are rare but can include:

  • Fever
  • Muscle aches
  • Headache
  • Swelling of the lymph nodes
  • Rash

You should talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about getting vaccinated.

How can I prevent monkeypox?

The best way to prevent monkeypox is to avoid exposure to the virus. This can be done by:

  • Washing your hands often with soap and water, especially after being in contact with an animal or person who is sick.
  • Avoiding contact with wild animals, including rodents, primates, and marsupials.
  • Not touching or handling anything that could have been contaminated with the monkeypox virus, such as bedding or clothing.
  • Not sharing food, utensils, or other personal items with someone who is sick.

If you are traveling to an area where monkeypox is found, it is important to talk to your doctor about getting vaccinated before you go. The smallpox vaccine is the best protection against monkeypox, but it is not available in all countries.

Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent the disease, but early diagnosis and treatment are also critical. If you think you may have been exposed to the virus, please see a doctor immediately and tell them about your exposure. If you have questions or concerns about monkeypox and vaccines, you can find a monkeypox test near you at any Nao Medical location