(CTN News) – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people at risk for monkeypox who haven’t gotten a shot are 14 times more likely to get infected.
This is the first concrete evidence that Jynneos is protecting against infection from the monkeypox virus circulating in the current outbreak, collected from 32 states from July to September.
A single dose of the two-dose monkeypox vaccine provides some protection against the virus, according to CDC data.
“These new data give us cautious optimism that the vaccine is working,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Wednesday.
It seems even a single dose of the vaccine provides some protection against infection two weeks after the shot, Walensky said.
Two doses of the Jynneos vaccine are given 28 days apart by Danish company Bavarian Nordic.
While the data on a single dose is promising, lab studies have shown that the immune protection is strongest two weeks after the second dose.
Even with these promising results, Walensky still strongly recommends people get two doses of the Jynneos vaccine spaced out 28 days apart to ensure durable, lasting immunity to monkeypox.
Gay and bisexual men get monkeypox from close skin-to-skin contact during sex. It usually doesn’t kill you, but it can cause a painful rash that looks like blisters.
People who have MPX should continue to protect themselves from infection by avoiding intimate contact with monkeypox carriers and reducing behaviors that can expose them to monkeypox.
Walensky said the CDC is waiting for real-world data about the effectiveness of the second vaccine dose before allowing vaccinated individuals to resume normal sexual behavior.
The data we have right now shows how well and how our vaccine works after a single dose. Walensky said we don’t yet know how durable that protection is after a second dose.
The U.S. is using Jynneos for the first time to control monkeypox. Because of this, there aren’t much real-world data on the vaccine’s effectiveness. Based on human immune response data, the FDA approved the Jynneos vaccine in 2019.
CDC is expanding eligibility for the monkeypox vaccine
In addition, the CDC is expanding eligibility so people can get the vaccine before they get monkeypox, not after.
In this category are gay, bisexual, and transgender men and women who have had more than one sex partner in the past six months had sex in a monkeypox-prone area, or have had a sexually transmitted infection.
People with these risk partners, including sex workers, are now eligible for vaccination.
Deputy head of the White House monkeypox task force Demetre Daskalakis said the government is also asking vaccine providers to make it easier to get shots and reduce stigma.
“Fear of disclosing sexuality and gender identity shouldn’t keep people from getting vaccinated,” Daskalakis said.
People can also get the vaccine in the shoulder or upper back so the temporary mark left by the shot is covered by clothes.
Daskalakis said some people don’t want the shot in their forearm because they feel stigmatized.
There are more than 25,000 monkeypox cases in the U.S., including Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, according to CDC data. In the U.S., one person has died from the virus since May.
Since monkeypox swept the U.S. this summer, cases have been declining.