Monkeypox vaccine in Michigan: Should you get vaccinated? How does it work?

Michigan has doses of the JYNNEOS vaccine

(Coastal Health District)

There are now at least 5,811 monkeypox cases across the United States and 55 of them are in Michigan.

Michigan health officials are urging people who have been exposed or suspect they have been exposed to monkeypox to get vaccinated.

The CDC said while there is currently a limited supply of the vaccine, more is expected in the coming weeks and months.

The JYNNEOS vaccine was created to prevent smallpox and monkeypox and was approved in 2019. It does not contain the viruses that cause smallpox or monkeypox. Instead, it is made from a virus that is closely related to, but less harmful than, variola or monkeypox viruses.

Routine smallpox vaccination in the United States stopped in 1972 after the disease was eradicated.

Read more: Where is monkeypox in Michigan? Here’s a map of cases and everything you should know about symptoms

Should you get the monkeypox vaccine?

Health officials are making people most at risk a priority.

People who have been exposed or suspect they have been exposed should contact their local health department to get the vaccine.

Michigan has received more than 3,000 doses of the JYNNEOS vaccine, a vaccine licensed by the FDA to prevent smallpox or monkeypox in people ages 18 and older. A single-patient emergency use authorization from the FDA would be required for people under 18 years old.

“Although the vaccine supply is limited, we are striving to utilize all doses of vaccine as soon as they become available to help mitigate spread,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, MDHHS chief medical executive. “We have issued guidance to our local health department partners to help ensure those most at risk from MPV are prioritized. Michiganders who know they have been exposed to MPV or suspect they have been exposed should contact their local health department about getting vaccinated.”

Read more: Michigan residents: Contact your health department for a vaccine if you’ve been exposed to monkeypox

What is the vaccine process like? How does it work?

The JYNNEOS contains a live Vaccinia virus that does not replicate efficiently in human cells, according to the CDC.

It’s given as two under-the-skin injections 28 days apart. It takes 14 days after the second dose for it to reach full effectiveness.

The second dose can be given up to 35 days if it’s not possible to get vaccinated at the 28-day mark. If you wait longer than 35 days, the CDC says to get the second dose as soon as possible but you don’t need to restart the series.

You might get pain, swelling and redness at the injection site. Other side effects include fatigue, headache and muscle pain.

The CDC said the vaccine is safe for people with HIV, eczema or other exfoliative skin conditions. It also said while they do not have data for the vaccine in people who are pregnant or breastfeeding, animal data does not show evidence of harm.

The FDA requires that people get both doses of the vaccine unless they are diagnosed with monkeypox after receiving the first dose. An immunocompromised person who is diagnosed with monkeypox after their first dose might be able to get a second dose, but it’s up to their healthcare provider.

Adolescent or young adult males may want to consider waiting four weeks after getting smallpox/monkeypox vaccine before they get a COVID vaccine.

Where can I get a monkeypox vaccine in Michigan?

The vaccine was distributed to hubs that will redistribute vaccines to other areas of the state as needed.

The United States Department of Health and Human Services has made the amount of JYNNEOS that has been allocated, requested and shipped nationwide public information.

StateAllocation (June 28 - July 27)Allocation (July 29)Total AllocationTotal Requested (July 27)Total Shipped (July 27)
Michigan3,39810,46013,8583,4183,418

Hubs are in the following areas (Phone numbers and links to the county health departments are also posted):

Health departments might contact eligible individuals who have been identified as close contacts. If you know or suspect that you have had contact with someone who has monkeypox, you should contact your local health department for more information.


About the Author:

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.