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Monkeypox: Do you need to get vaccinated?

If the vaccine is administered within four days of exposure, it can prevent the disease altogether

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This image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a colorized transmission electron micrograph of monkeypox particles (orange) found within an infected cell (brown), cultured in the laboratory.

Associated Press

There are over 3,000 confirmed monkeypox cases in the U.S. as the virus reaches a majority of states.

As the Deseret News reported, this disease typically spreads by touching infected animals, humans or contaminated material through sores and broken skin, the respiratory tract or the mucous membranes in the eyes, nose and mouth.

Early influenza symptoms evolve into a rash that spreads on the face, and, later, on the chest and palms. Monkeypox infections can last as long as a month, with a 99% survival rate.

Here is a guide to understanding the monkeypox vaccines.

What vaccine is used for monkeypox?

There are two licensed vaccines in the U.S. for monkeypox — Jynneos and ACAM2000.

According to the CDC, data for the effectiveness of these vaccines is not available yet. While the former was in limited supply, the latter is “associated with harsh side effects and even death,” as Lois Collins reported for the Deseret News.

How is monkeypox being treated?

Administering the vaccine within four days of exposure can prevent monkeypox entirely. If used two weeks after exposure, it can still lessen symptoms, the CDC stated.

Antivirals, like tecovirimat (TPOXX), may be recommended for those who are severely ill or have weakened immune systems.

Who is eligible to get the monkeypox vaccine?

Those in close contact with someone who is infected with monkeypox are eligible to get the vaccine, although, typically, it is administered post-exposure.

The only group of people eligible for vaccination before exposure are the likes of laboratory workers handling monkeypox specimens.

Where to get a monkeypox vaccine?

Since the vaccine can’t be administered pre-exposure or suspected exposure, patients should contact their health provider and begin isolating, according to Salt Lake County website.

Does the smallpox vaccine protect from monkeypox?

Although the U.S. stopped routine vaccinations for smallpox in 1972, there are many who may still have immunity that offers protection from monkeypox, too, since the two diseases are closely related.

“Vaccination against smallpox also protects against monkeypox,” Hannah Newman, director of epidemiology at Lenox Hill Hospital, told Health. “People who were vaccinated against smallpox years ago may have some immunity, or at least have some protection against milder illness if infected.”

The smallpox vaccine is at least 85% effective in preventing monkeypox.

How can I protect myself against monkeypox?

Since the virus spreads through skin-to-skin contact, people are suggested to personal space and avoid places like raves and clubs, per NPR. Washing hands with soap and water is also advised. Additionally, staying vigilant about the community spread through the CDC map is vital.