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What to know about the monkeypox vaccine

Those with HIV, eczema or other skin conditions are recommended only one of the monkeypox vaccines

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An illustration of the monkeypox vaccine.

Illustration by Eliza, Anderson, Deseret News

The number of monkeypox cases in the United States has risen to 5,811, and California and Illinois have both declared a state of emergency to help fight the outbreak. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization said the infection posed a “moderate” public health risk globally.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who do not have monkeypox symptoms cannot transmit it to others, although information on asymptomatic cases isn’t available yet.

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.

What should you know about the monkeypox vaccine?

There are two available vaccines — a two-shot dose called Jynneos and the one-shot ACAM2000 — which were originally approved for smallpox,

The two vaccines are different: ACAM2000 carries “a live, infectious vaccinia virus” which can cause rash, fever, and head and body aches, while Jynneos contained a tweaked virus related to monkeypox and smallpox.

Can people with eczema get vaccinated against monkeypox?

Since the ACAM2000 can cause side effects, it is not recommended for those with skin conditions like eczema. Jynneos, on the other hand, has been studied and does not show adverse effects.

Can people with HIV get vaccinated against monkeypox?

Similar to the case of individuals with eczema, HIV patients are recommended to take the Jynneos vaccine instead of the ACAM2000.

Can pregnant women get vaccinated against monkeypox?

Pregnant women are also recommended to take the Jynneos vaccine instead of the ACAM2000.

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.