The monkeypox (mpox) vaccine JYNNEOS is currently available in NSW for people who are considered higher risk of getting mpox. Find out what to expect, possible symptoms and how to care for your injection site.

Last updated: 06 December 2022

What is monkeypox (mpox)?

Mpox is a viral infection that causes a rash and is usually spread by skin-to-skin contact with someone who has mpox. Most people recover within a few weeks, however severe illness can occur, particularly in immunocompromised people.

What should I expect after getting my mpox vaccine?

The mpox vaccine JYNNEOS is currently available in NSW for people who are considered higher risk of getting mpox. This is a new vaccine so we’re still learning about it, however information from clinical trials shows the vaccine should be effective in preventing mpox.

To be fully vaccinated you will need to receive two doses of the vaccine at least 28 days apart. Due to limited vaccine supply in NSW, you may receive your second dose 8 weeks after your first dose. The clinic you attended will let you know when it is time for your next dose.

It will take two weeks after your second vaccine to provide the best protection against mpox. Vaccine does not provide full protection against mpox, especially if you have received only one dose. Once you have been vaccinated, you should continue to protect yourself from mpox infection by avoiding direct skin-to-skin contact, including sex or other intimate contact, as well as items such as bedding or towels with a person who has mpox.

The JYNNEOS vaccine does not transmit mpox or any other pox virus to other people.

What are the possible symptoms after getting my vaccine?

As with any vaccine, you may have some side effects after receiving this vaccine. Most side effects are mild, do not last long and happen in the few days after getting the vaccine.

Common side effects reported in clinical studies after receiving the vaccine include:

  • injection site pain, redness, swelling, induration (hardening) or itch
  • muscle aches
  • headache
  • fatigue
  • nausea
  • chills
  • fever.

People with atopic dermatitis (eczema) may be more likely to have side effects after vaccination compared to those without this condition.

You should seek medical attention after vaccination if you:

  • think you are having an allergic reaction. Call Triple Zero (000) if you experience severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, wheezing, or collapsing
  • have chest pain, pressure or discomfort, irregular heartbeat, skipped beats or ‘fluttering’, fainting, or shortness of breath
  • are worried about a potential side effect or have new or unexpected symptoms.

How should I care for my injection site if I have had the intradermal injection?

A hard, small temporary lump may appear at the injection site after you’ve been vaccinated. You may also experience redness on the injection site. This can last for some time.

Care for the vaccination site

  • Allow the vaccination site to heal naturally and keep it clean and dry. Do not use creams or ointments.
  • If necessary, apply sterile gauze or non-stick dressing loosely but do not use sticking plaster, lint or cloth directly over the vaccination site.
  • Avoid bumps and scratches to the site.
  • Normal activities may be continued such as showering, swimming and sports.

What should I do if I develop mpox symptoms?

Staying alert for symptoms and taking steps to prevent infection

Vaccination is only one way to prevent mpox infection.

As there is still a risk of infection following vaccination, it’s still important to take steps to reduce the chance of catching or spreading mpox.

If you start to experience symptoms:

  • self-isolate at home and avoid all unnecessary contact with other people. If travelling home to self-isolate, go directly home, wear a mask and cover any exposed lesions.
  • contact your doctor or sexual health clinic and let them know you recently have been vaccinated for mpox. Your doctor should be able to advise on any tests that you may need.
  • notify the Public Health Unit (1300 066 055) as soon as possible.

Vaccination after being exposed to mpox

The mpox vaccine can be given to reduce severity of the virus if you have been exposed to a person who has it. Ideally vaccination should occur within four days of exposure but may be given up to 14 days in vulnerable people. Your local Public Health Unit (1300 066 055) will be able to advise further.

The vaccine will be given under the skin (subcutaneously) rather than into the skin (intradermally).

Staying safe

It is important to get your second dose of the vaccine for maximum protection.

Your clinic should be in touch when the second dose is available to you, however vulnerable groups and gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM) at higher risk who are yet to receive their first dose will be prioritised first.

Until you are notified that you can receive your second dose, and even after being vaccinated, continue to look out for mpox symptoms and self-isolate if you experience any symptoms, and avoid sex and other close physical contact with people who have symptoms to reduce your risk of exposure.

For more information about mpox and ways to prevent infection, see the monkeypox (mpox) fact sheet and monkeypox (mpox) information hub.

Current as at: Tuesday 6 December 2022
Contact page owner: Communicable Diseases