Mpox Vaccine Availability
Our Carroll, Fayette, Henry, Troup and Upson county health departments offer the mpox (formerly “monkeypox”) vaccine. Appointments are required and are only available to individuals who are 18 and older. Vaccines are free, and there is no residency requirement. You can download the consent form and bring it with you to the appointment: Jynneos Vaccine Consent Form | Español
The JYNNEOS vaccine can prevent illness or lead to less severe symptoms if given within two weeks after someone is exposed to mpox. For more information, see the CDC mpox and smallpox vaccine guidance.
Who should get vaccinated?
Persons of any gender identity or sexual orientation with any of the following should get vaccinated:
- Have had multiple or anonymous sex partners with men who have sex with men in the last 14 days.
- Have had skin-to-skin or intimate contact (e.g., kissing, hugging) with persons who have had a rash or are suspected of having mpox in the last 14 days.
- Have had skin-to-skin or intimate contact (e.g., kissing, hugging) with persons at large venues or events in the past 14 days.
- Have engaged in commercial and/or transactional sex in the past 14 days (e.g., sex in exchange for money, shelter, food, and other goods or needs).
- Are HIV positive, on HIV PrEP, or diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the last 90 days.
What is mpox?
Mpox (formerly known as “monkeypox”) is a rare disease caused by infection with the mpox virus. Mpox virus is part of the same family of viruses as variola virus, which causes smallpox. Mpox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder, and mpox is rarely fatal. Mpox is not related to chickenpox. About Mpox | CDC
How can mpox spread?
Mpox is most commonly spread through close, skin-to-skin contact. Most people with mpox generally report having close, sustained physical contact with others who have mpox. While many of those affected in recent global outbreaks are gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men, anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has mpox can get the illness.
The risk of contracting mpox is based on exposure: An individual must be exposed to enough virus to become infected. What is currently known about mpox transmission indicates skin-to-skin contact and direct contact with lesions from an infected person carry the highest risk. Though mpox can be transmitted indirectly in other ways, sharing bedding or towels with someone who is infected with mpox would carry more risk than passing encounters with money or a door handle or other environmental surfaces.
Mpox may spread by touching items such as clothing or linens that previously touched an infectious rash or body fluids, but this has not been identified to be a common mode of transmission in this outbreak or for mpox in general.
Most settings where people congregate such as workplaces, schools, grocery stores, gas stations, or public transportation are not considered high-risk settings for mpox transmission.
A person with mpox can spread it to others from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks. How Mpox Spreads | CDC
How can you protect yourself and others?
In addition to getting a vaccine if you think you are at high risk, you can help protect yourself from getting mpox in the following ways:
- Avoid close skin-to-skin contact with anyone who has a rash that looks like mpox.
- Have conversations with partners before close contact.
- Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with mpox.
- Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have intimate contact with someone with mpox.
- Do not share food, beverages, dishes, cups/glasses or eating utensils with someone who has mpox.
- Do not handle or touch bedding, towels or clothing used or worn by someone with mpox.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Consider events you attend and how close in proximity you are to others there. If there is close, prolonged skin-to-skin contact, the risk of spreading mpox is higher.
What are the signs and symptoms?
The incubation period (time from infection to symptoms) for monkeypox (mpox) is usually 7−14 days but can range from 5−21 days. The illness typically lasts for 2−4 weeks. It begins with:
- Muscle aches
- Swollen lymph nodes
Within 1 to 3 days (sometimes longer) after the appearance of fever, the patient develops a rash, often beginning on the face and then spreading to other parts of the body. The rash will go through several stages, including scabs, before healing. The rash can initially look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy. Signs and Symptoms | CDC
What should you do if you’re exposed?
If you’ve been exposed to mpox or are currently experiencing signs and symptoms, particularly red lesions or a pimple-like rash that appears on your face or other parts of your body:
- First and foremost, isolate at home away from others.
- Then, call (no walk-ins, please) your local health department. You’ll be asked for your contact information so a nurse can call you back by the end of the day. Because of the time involved in the screening process, walk-ins will be asked to call us to provide their contact information so a nurse can return the call by the end of the day.
- Based on your symptoms and history, the nurse may then need to consult an epidemiologist after your phone screening to determine if you need to be tested.
Do you need to be tested?
If it is determined you need to be tested, a healthcare professional will swab one to two lesions and send the specimens to a lab for testing. The test is a polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, much like those for COVID-19 that detect a piece of the virus’s genetic material.