Mpox—previously referred to as monkeypox or hMPXV— continues to circulate in the U.S. Take steps to prevent getting mpox, including getting vaccinated if you're at risk.

Mpox is a viral illness that is mainly spread through close, personal (skin-to-skin) contact with someone who is infected. The most common symptom is a rash, which may look like pimples, blisters, or sores, or other more common rashes such as chicken pox, syphilis, or shingles. The rash can be extremely painful and leave scars. Other symptoms may include fever, headache, muscle aches, backaches, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and exhaustion.

Talk to your health care provider if you have a rash or other symptoms of mpox—even if you have been vaccinated or had mpox before. If you do not have a health care provider, call 2-1-1 to be connected to care, or contact the nearest federally qualified health center or one of Vermont's Free & Referral Clinics.

Learn more about mpox (CDC)

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Vaccination is an important tool against mpox. Vaccines make it less likely you will get or spread mpox. Although no vaccine is 100% effective, getting vaccinated may help make the symptoms less severe, easier to manage, and prevent serious illness, hospitalization, and death if you become infected. People who are vaccinated should continue to avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with someone who has mpox. 

Who is Eligible in Vermont

Vaccination is FREE and available regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or immigration status.

The following people can get vaccinated against mpox in Vermont:

  • People who have or may have multiple or anonymous sex partners, or participate or may participate in group sex.
  • People whose sex partners are eligible per the criteria above.
  • People who know or suspect they have been exposed to mpox in the last 14 days.
  • Anyone else who considers themselves to be at risk for mpox through sex or other intimate contact.
  • Certain health care and laboratory personnel whose jobs regularly put them at high risk of exposure to the virus, such as performing testing or caring for multiple people infected with mpox.

Who is Recommended for Vaccination

In addition to the above vaccine eligibility criteria, the CDC recommends vaccines for those at higher risk of coming into contact with someone infected with mpox.

This includes if:

  • You are a gay, bisexual, or other man who has sex with men or a transgender, nonbinary, or gender-diverse person who in the past 6 months has a new diagnosis of one or more sexually transmitted diseases (e.g., chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis) or more than one sex partner.
  • In the past 6 months you have had sex at a commercial sex venue (like a sex club or bathhouse), sex related to a large commercial event or in a geographic area (city or county for example) where mpox virus transmission is occurring, or sex in exchange for money or other items.
  • You have HIV or other causes of immune suppression and have had recent or anticipate future risk of mpox exposure.

More on CDC vaccination recommendations

Where to Get Vaccinated 

Vaccination is FREE and available regardless of immigration status. Find a free mpox vaccine by using the vaccine locator below or talk to your health care provider. If for any reason you are unable to get to these locations, please contact your local health office to get vaccinated. 


About the Vaccine

The JYNNEOS vaccine helps protect against mpox when given before or shortly after having close, personal contact with someone who is infected. The vaccine is two doses, given four weeks apart. JYNNEOS vaccine is often given intradermally (between the top layers of skin). This is because it can reduce pain after vaccination and requires a smaller dose to have a strong immune response.

It is recommended to get both doses for stronger protection against mpox. You can still get your second dose even if it has been more than four weeks since your first dose. Protection is highest two weeks after your second dose. No vaccine is 100% effective, and infections after vaccination are possible, but they may be milder and less likely to result in hospitalization. The CDC is still learning how long JYNNEOS vaccine protection lasts and if protection decreases over time. 

Possible Vaccine Side Effects

Not everyone has side effects, but some people do. It is important to weigh possible side effects from the vaccine with the symptoms of a mpox infection, which could be painful and serious, and result in permanent scarring from the rash. 

The most common side effects from JYNNEOS are pain, redness, and itching at the spot where the vaccine is given. You might also experience fever, headache, tiredness, nausea, chills, and muscle aches. Being vaccinated between the layers of your skin (intradermally) could lead other side effects, some of which might last for several weeks. These other side effects can include itching, swelling, redness, thickening of the skin, and skin discoloration at the spot where the vaccine was given. 

  • You can ask for the intradermal vaccination in a less visible location on your body than your forearm, such as the skin of your upper back or shoulder. 
  • Or instead you can ask to get vaccinated in the fat layer underneath the skin (subcutaneously) on the back of your upper arm (triceps). This method requires a larger dose to create a similarly strong immune response compared to vaccines given between the layers of your skin. 
  • If you have ever had keloid scars (thick, raised scars) or are under 18, the CDC recommends asking for the vaccine to be given to you subcutaneously.

Visit the CDC's website for more on vaccines for mpox


Treatment is available if you are diagnosed with mpox and your health care provider determines that you need it. If you do not have a health care provider, call 2-1-1 to be connected to care, or contact the nearest federally qualified health center or one of Vermont's Free & Referral Clinics.

Communication Materials and Resources

Find our Mpox Partner Toolkit, printable poster, plus fact sheets and videos in translated in multiple languages. 

Get social media content and other communication resources from the CDC 

Videos in Multiple Languages

"How Mpox Spreads and Symptoms" from Vermont Language Justice Project.

English American Sign Language / العربية / Arabic | မြန်မာစာ / Burmese | دری / Dari | Français / French | Kirundi | Maay Maay | Mandarin Chinese | नेपाली / Nepali | پښتو / Pashto | Soomaali / Somali | Español / Spanish | Swahili | українська / Ukrainian | Tiếng Việt / Vietnamese 

Mpox Information for Clinicians

Patients eligible for vaccination may contact your office looking for this vaccine. If you have a patient who meets eligibility requirements, please contact the Health Department at [email protected]. You will be referred to an administering location or instructed on how to obtain a dose for your patient.

What To Do if Clinicians Suspect Mpox?

Clinicians who suspect mpox should call the Infectious Disease Program at (802) 863-7240, Option 2 to speak with an epidemiologist 24/7. Follow appropriate isolation and infection control protocols.

An epidemiologist will guide you through the process of specimen collection and sending specimens to the Vermont Department of Health Laboratory (VDHL). Testing is also available through the commercial labs Labcorp, Aegis, Quest, and Mayo. Turn-around time and cost may vary by lab. 

Clinicians who see a patient with a rash characteristic of mpox and one or more risk factors—regardless of vaccination status— should have a low threshold for testing for mpox. Other more common diseases (e.g., HSV, VZV) can be simultaneously ruled in or out through usual diagnostic channels. Find more information on risk factors and what to do if you suspect mpox.

How to Collect and Send a Specimen for Mpox Testing 
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Locate collection materials

Pre-made kits are available by request.

  • Call the Vermont Department of Health Laboratory at 802-338-4724 (available M-F, 7:45am - 4:30pm). 

If you don’t have access to a kit, you may be able to assemble your own. You’ll need: 

  • Two dry nylon flocked swabs (Copan P/N 502cs01)
  • Two sterile viral transport media tubes/universal transport media containing at least 1mL of VTM/UTM
  • Labels for specimen tubes and cooler
  • Two biohazard bags
  • Two Clinical Laboratory Test Request forms, one per sample
  • One cooler
  • Cold packs
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Collect the specimens

Read through the directions entirely before proceeding. We recommend labeling your tubes before you begin specimen collection so swabs can go directly into pre-labeled tubes. 

  • Select two lesions, preferably from different locations on the body and with different appearances
  • Vigorously swab or brush each lesion with a different sterile dry nylon swab. Rub as vigorously as the patient can tolerate to ensure a conclusive result. 
  • Insert each swab into a VTM tube. Label each tube indicating patient name, date of birth. lesion location, and collection date and time then place in a biohazard bag. 
  • Specimens can be stored for up to two days at 15-30°C (room temperature) or up to seven days at 2-8°C (refrigerated). Temperature timelines need to be considered for shipping. Please do not ship room temperature specimens that have already been stored for two days. Refrigerated specimens should be sent in a cooler with cold packs to maintain temperature. 
  • Specimens must arrive at the Lab within seven days of collection. 
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Package the specimens
  • Complete a Clinical Laboratory Test Request Form for each site. Include the site of the lesion on the request form. Select “MPOX PCR” in the Molecular Virology section. See an example of a completed form here.
  • Specimens should be packaged and transported as Category B specimens as outlined in Transporting Infectious Substances Safely.
  • Segregate tubes by site of lesion then, in each biohazard bag, include the request form in the outer pocket (not in the pocket with the specimen). 
    • For example: if you chose an elbow and a knee lesion, you should have two bags, one with a tube labeled “elbow” and one with a tube labeled “knee” each with their own request form in the outer pocket of the bag.  
  • Place the specimen bags with the request forms in a cooler with a frozen ice pack.
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Send the specimens
  • Seal the cooler and address the label to: VDHL, 359 South Park Dr, Colchester, VT 05446.
  • Fill out the “Person Responsible (Name and Phone number)” label with someone who can answer questions about the package. 
  • If using an assembled kit, add a UN 3373 Biological Substance, Category B label to comply with DOT/IATA shipping regulations. Mark “MPOX PCR” on the outside of the package. Pre-made kits will include this label. 
  • Please do not send specimens to the Lab without prior approval. After your initial conversation with Epi, Lab staff will reach out to discuss the best means of specimen transport. 
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Receive Results
  • Someone from Epidemiology will verbally notify you of a positive result.
  • An official lab report will follow based on contact information provided on the Clinical Laboratory Test Request Form.
  • Providers will share the results with their patients. 
Resources for Clinicians
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Mpox Partner Toolkit
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Vermont Health Alert Network
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CDC Info for Health Care Professionals
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CDC Health Alert Network
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COCA Calls and Webinars (CDC)
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CDC/ISDA Clinician Calls (Infectious Diseases Society of America)
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JYNNEOS Immunization Guidance