Mpox (formerly known as monkeypox) has been declared a Communicable Disease Incident of National Significance in Australia. This page provides answers to some of the frequently asked questions about mpox disease and vaccines. We will update this page as new information becomes available. Last updated 20 December 2022. The ATAGI clinical guidance on vaccination against Monkeypox (version 4.0, 12 December 2022) is available on the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care website.

For general public

The Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care Monkeypox (MPX) vaccines page has general information on the mpox vaccines available in Australia, and how they can be accessed.

  • What is mpox?

    Mpox is a disease caused by the monkeypox virus. In most people, mpox begins with general flu-like symptoms, followed by a blistering rash that can be painful. In some people, the rash is limited to one area of the body only. 

    Some people can develop more severe mpox disease that needs to be managed in hospital. People with conditions that affect their immune system may be at greater risk of severe mpox. More information on the signs and symptoms can be found here.

  • How is mpox transmitted?

    Mpox is spread from person to person through contact with the mpox rash, especially contact with fluid from mpox blisters. This contact also includes sharing items like towels and linen, because the virus that has been shed from the skin of an infected person can remain on these objects for some time.

    Mpox can also be spread through prolonged contact with respiratory secretions, such as saliva, of an infected person. This may occur through intimate physical contact, such as kissing or oral sex.

    Pregnant women can also spread the virus to their unborn babies through the placenta. However, currently there have not been any known cases of mpox being spread through breastfeeding.

  • What are the vaccines available against mpox?

    The main vaccine against mpox available in Australia is called Jynneos. Overseas, the identical product may be known by its other brand names, Imvanex and Imvamune. 

    Jynneos can be administered via subcutaneous or intradermal injection. Your vaccination provider will discuss the best option for you. The same vaccines are used against mpox and smallpox. If you have never received a smallpox  vaccine in the past, two doses of Jynneos, given at least 28 days apart, will give the best protection against mpox. If you have received the smallpox vaccine more than 10 years ago, only 1 additional dose of Jynneos is needed this time.

    There is limited supply in Australia of another vaccine called ACAM2000, but its use is reserved for specific circumstances, determined by State and Territory public health authorities.

  • Why are smallpox vaccines being used against mpox?

    Vaccines used against smallpox contain another virus, called the vaccinia virus, which is closely related to both the smallpox and the monkeypox viruses. It is believed that vaccines with the vaccinia virus will protect people against mpox in the same way that they protect against smallpox. Before the 2022 outbreak, there was already some evidence of this cross-protection. People who were vaccinated against smallpox in their childhood have been observed to have some protection against mpox many years later in isolated outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

  • What are the side effects of the Jynneos vaccine against mpox?

    Jynneos has been shown to be a safe vaccine, with more than a million doses given worldwide in the current 2022 mpox outbreak. 

    AusVaxSafety is an Australian system that collects information on reactions after vaccination. Currently, most reactions reported after Jynneos have been mild and expected, such as pain and redness at the injection site that resolve within days. These injection site reactions are slightly more common after intradermal injections compared to subcutaneous injections. For more information on reactions observed after the Jynneos vaccine in Australia, visit the AusVaxSafety mpox vaccine website.

    A range of systems, including AusVaxSafety and the Therapeutic Goods Administration, will continue to monitor the safety of the Jynneos vaccine.

  • Who can get the mpox vaccine?

    Your local State or Territory will decide who can get the mpox vaccine based on the mpox situation in different parts of Australia, and this has been informed by the clinical guidance from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) on the population groups recommended to be prioritised for mpox vaccine.

  • Where can I get the mpox vaccine?

    The delivery of mpox vaccines is coordinated by each State and Territory. Contact the relevant State and Territory public health authority for the latest information on eligibility to receive vaccination, and how to access the vaccine if you are eligible.

  • Where on my body will the mpox vaccine injection be given?

    Your vaccination provider will discuss the injection site with you. For subcutaneous injections, the most common site is the upper arm, below the shoulder. Intradermal injections are often given in the forearm, because we have the most information about the effectiveness of the vaccine given here. If this is not preferred, sites such as the upper arm and the upper back just below the shoulder blade are also used. If you prefer another body site, discuss with your vaccination provider whether this would be suitable.

  • Is there an interaction between Jynneos vaccine and HIV treatment?

    Jynneos vaccine is not expected to interact with any medications given as part of HIV treatment or HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis. It is important to continue with any recommended HIV treatment if receiving a mpox vaccine for either primary prevention post exposure.

  • How soon after Jynneos vaccination will I be protected against mpox?

    It is not yet known the antibody level where you would be considered to be protected against mpox. In clinical trials for Jynneos vaccine, antibody levels at various time points after vaccination were measured. After one dose of Jynneos vaccine, antibody levels reached their peak at approximately 2 weeks after vaccination, and then stayed at roughly this level. After the 2nd dose of Jynneos vaccine, 4 weeks after the first, antibody levels rose again and reached a higher peak, approximately 2 weeks after the second dose. This has led to the conclusion that the best protection against mpox occurs approximately 2 weeks after receiving the second dose of Jynneos vaccine.

  • If I had the smallpox vaccine in the 1970s, is it safe to have another dose of a smallpox vaccine? Also, do I need 2 doses of Jynneos or is 1 enough?

    Clinical studies have shown that the frequency of side effects after mpox vaccination is similar among people who had received a previous dose of a smallpox vaccine and those who were never vaccinated against smallpox. For people who have received a previous smallpox vaccine more than 10 years ago, and who have been recommended to receive Jynneos vaccine during the current mpox outbreak, only a single dose of Jynneos vaccine is required.

  • I heard that you can get a mpox vaccine after you have been in contact with somebody with mpox. How does this help, and is it effective?

    Receiving a vaccine after being in contact with somebody who is infected is called post-exposure preventive vaccination (PEPV). It is recommended for some people after they have had a high-risk exposure to a person with mpox. Depending on the timing and nature of this exposure, and a range of other factors, receiving 1 dose of the vaccine may be effective in preventing mpox, or reducing the severity of illness. We are still learning about the effectiveness of giving the Jynneos vaccine as PEPV. In general, it is thought that receiving the vaccine as soon as possible after the exposure, ideally within 4 days, would be more effective at preventing mpox.

    It is important to discuss if you have had a potential exposure to a person who may have mpox with your State and Territory public health authority. They can give you advice about whether you might benefit from receiving the Jynneos vaccine, and if so, they can organise for you to be vaccinated.

  • I think I have just had a high-risk exposure to mpox and I am worried. Who should I contact for advice and to get post exposure vaccination as soon as possible?

    It is important to contact your state/territory public health staff about your exposure as they can give you advice on what to do and link you with any care that you may need, including vaccination. A list of relevant phone numbers can be found here.

  • If an individual is an identified close contact of a confirmed mpox case and has received a dose of Jynneos as post exposure preventive vaccination (PEPV), do they need to isolate, and for how long?

    Any identified close contacts are advised to follow the isolation advice given to them by their local public health unit, regardless of whether they have received Jynneos vaccine as post-exposure prophylaxis.

  • Do I need to do anything if I have received the Jynneos / Imvanex / Imvamune vaccine overseas? What if I have only received one dose? Can I get my second dose in Australia?

    Anyone who has received a dose of the Jynneos vaccine (it may have been branded as Imvanex or Imvamune, depending on the country) is advised to let their healthcare provider or sexual health service know, so that this dose can be recorded accurately. Additionally, you can discuss your ongoing risk of being infected with the monkeypox virus with your healthcare providers or sexual health clinician to determine if and when you should have a second dose of the vaccine.

  • I am worried about my privacy and would like to leave Jynneos off my vaccination record. Is this possible?

    It is possible for your Jynneos vaccine dose(s) to be recorded, but hidden on official print-outs like the Immunisation History Statement. You can discuss this with your immunisation provider at the time of receiving your vaccine or contact AIR at 1800 653 809.

For clinicians

The Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care Monkeypox (MPX) vaccines page has general information on the mpox vaccines available in Australia, and how they can be accessed.