Mpox Vaccine in Boulder County
Boulder County Public Health
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The mpox vaccine can be used to prevent or lessen symptoms of illness in people who were exposed to a case and receive the vaccine within 14 days of exposure.
Vaccination strategies will initially focus on providing vaccines to people who are most likely to have recently been exposed to mpox to prevent them from getting sick.
People who believe they have been exposed to mpox and have symptoms should visit a health care provider to find out if they need to be tested. People with an exposure need to monitor for symptoms for 21 days after their last exposure.
If you are aged 18 years or older and meet vaccine eligibility criteria, you may be recommended to receive a fully FDA-approved vaccine called JYNNEOS. JYNNEOS is also available to people younger than 18 years through Investigational New Drug (IND) applications to the FDA.
The current eligibility criteria for vaccination determined by the CDC are:
- Anyone (any sexual orientation or gender identity) who has had close physical contact with someone who has mpox in the last 14 days.
- Anyone (any sexual orientation or gender identity) who:
- Has multiple or anonymous sexual partners, or
- Has close physical contact with other people in a venue where anonymous or group sex may occur, or
- Was diagnosed with gonorrhea or syphilis in the past six months, or
- Is living with HIV, or
- Already uses or is eligible for HIV PrEP (medication to prevent HIV, e.g. Truvada or Descovy or Apretude), or
- Engages in commercial and/or transactional sex (e.g. sex in exchange for money, shelter, food, and other goods or needs).
- Anyone (any sexual orientation or gender identity) identified by public health as a known high-risk contact of someone who has mpox.
JYNNEOS contains small amounts of a live, non-replicating virus called the Vaccinia virus. This virus is in the same family as mpox and smallpox. The vaccine teaches your body how to fight off the Vaccinia virus. Because this virus is very similar to mpox, your body will also be better able to fight off mpox after you have been vaccinated.
Right now, one dose is provided for early protection from mpox. JYNNEOS is typically given in a two-dose series. Data from clinical trials show that receiving only the first dose of the JYNNEOS vaccine offers early protection from mpox. At this time, Colorado is focusing on providing first doses to as many high-risk individuals as possible. CDPHE will communicate with Coloradans who got their first doses about when second doses are available and how to get them.
The sooner an exposed person gets the vaccine, the better. The vaccine can help keep you from getting sick at all if you receive it within four days of exposure to the mpox virus. If you get the vaccine between four and 14 days after exposure, it can help prevent severe illness but may not completely prevent infection.
Right now, only some people are recommended to get the vaccine as a preventive measure before being exposed to the mpox virus. This includes some people who are likely to be exposed to the mpox virus at their jobs, such as certain laboratory workers and healthcare workers. At this time, most healthcare workers and laboratory workers are not recommended to receive the vaccine.
The most common side effects are pain, redness, swelling, hardness, and itching at the injection site. Side effects can also include soreness, headache, fatigue, nausea, and chills. Side effects tend to go away after a short period of time.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is using an mpox vaccination strategy that prioritizes administering first doses of JYNNEOS to as many high-risk individuals as possible, as opposed to reserving vaccines for second doses. Typically, JYNNEOS is given as a two-dose series, with the doses administered four weeks apart.
The supply of JYNNEOS vaccine from the federal government is extremely limited. This strategy will allow the state to open additional vaccination appointments for Coloradans at high risk at clinics being planned through the end of August. Prioritizing first doses will help provide the broadest protection possible against the spread of mpox.
Second doses of JYNNEOS will be administered as soon as the federal supply of vaccine allows. BCPH will work with CDPHE to communicate with people who received first doses about when second doses are available and how to receive them.
Colorado Mpox Data Dashboard