Monkeypox Vaccine: All You Need To Know

By Saksham Bhatia +2 more

This article has been reviewed by Dr Nikita Toshi


As monkeypox is spreading rapidly across the globe, the World Health Organisation has declared it a Global Health Emergency. While WHO has also maintained that the situation is unlikely to escalate into a pandemic, there are more than 16,000 confirmed cases in about 75 countries across the globe. India has recorded 4 cases of monkeypox too.  

Monkeypox shows symptoms similar to smallpox; however, less severe. Primarily occurring in tropical rainforests of Africa, the disease is spreading due to international travel. The self-limiting disease lasts for about 2-4 weeks and the fatality ratio is about 3-6%.

Vaccines are the best way to build the body’s defences against any unknown disease or pathogen. Read ahead to know everything about monkeypox vaccines – the availability and effectiveness. 


Since monkeypox is similar to smallpox, the same vaccine has been clinically proven to be about 85% effective in preventing monkeypox. If you have received the smallpox vaccination, the infection might be milder. There is no specific monkeypox vaccine available at the moment in India.

The rash with monkey pox may commonly appear as a pimple or a fluid filled blister with itchy symptoms.

Dr. Ashish Bajaj, M.B.B.S., M.D. in Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology

Globally available vaccines

  • The original smallpox virus is not readily available to the general public in many countries since the eradication of the disease.
  • Currently, there are two vaccines licensed by the US FDA. The JYNNEOS or the Imvamune Imvanex and the ACAM2000. There is a limited supply of the JYNNEOS and the ACAM2000 is not advised for people with comorbidities, a weak immune system, pre-existing skin conditions like eczema and atopic dermatitis and pregnant people. 
  • JYNNEOS contains live vaccinia virus and it is a 2-dose vaccine; the second dose is given at a gap of 28 days.
  • There is not a lot of data that is available on the effectiveness of these vaccines. 
  • Both the vaccines are two-dose.
  • Even after taking the vaccine, avoid close contact with someone who has contracted the virus.
  • Since there is a low supply of the vaccine in the US currently, only people who are at risk of contracting the virus are getting vaccinated.

It is recommended to get vaccinated with monkey box vaccine for people who have recently encountered the disease or have high chances of getting infected with monkey pox.Two doses at four weeks interval is the recommended schedule.

Dr. Ashish Bajaj, M.B.B.S., M.D. in Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology

Vaccine availability in India

  • Aadar Poonawalla from Serum Institute of India has said that they are in contact with a Danish smallpox vaccine manufacturer to procure a small batch in case of a sudden increase in cases.
  • Serum Institute is also considering developing a new vaccine. This vaccine will be developed in partnership with Novavax, SII’s global partner.
  • Currently, it is not possible to go for mass vaccination of the public. A priority system can be followed, where the vaccine should be administered within four days of exposure to the virus or as a pre-exposure measure in high-risk groups. 

Mpox (formerly known as monkeypox) is caused by a virus that is related to the virus that causes smallpox. JYNNEOS is a 2-dose vaccine developed to protect against mpox and smallpox infections. People need to get both doses of the vaccine for the best protection against mpox. The second dose should be given 4 weeks after the first dose

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka, MBBS, MD(Pediatrics)

Key takeaways

  • Monkeypox is a Global health emergency.
  • The fatality rate is 3-6%.
  • It is quite similar to smallpox (which has been eradicated) but less severe.
  • There is no specific monkeypox vaccine in the Indian market yet. 
  • It has been suggested that smallpox vaccines will be highly effective against monkeypox.
  • As of now, there are two licensed vaccines in the US. 
  • India is in talks with a small px vaccine manufacturer in Denmark. Should the need arise, India may procure smallpox vaccines from Denmark and possibly start manufacturing monkeypox vaccines (SII and Novavax).


Currently, the global outbreak can affect anyone who is exposed to the virus. Prolonged close contact with infected animals, humans or their belongings can aid in the spread of infection. As the currently available vaccines are in limited supply, priority must be given to vaccinating those who are at immediate risk. Self-limiting, monkeypox causes fever, skin lesions and swollen lymph nodes. These infections often clear up in a few weeks without any medical intervention. Follow the safety measures to reduce your risk of exposure to the monkeypox virus.











Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.


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