Monkeypox Information

Monkeypox, a rare pox virus typically carried by rodents in Central and Western Africa, has been making international headlines recently because of unusual outbreaks Europe, North America, Israel, and Australia.

Media coverage of this outbreak has tied the majority of cases to gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men (MSM). This reporting has caused concern among the LGBTQIA+ community, both globally and here in Boston.

To ensure that our community has accurate information about monkeypox – its symptoms, how it’s spread, and when to seek medical care – Fenway Health has created this page.

Visit their Website

cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/sexualhealth/index.html

In response to the continuing spread of monkeypox in the United States, the CDC has begun a vaccination campaign. As part of this response, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) is distributing vaccine here in the Commonwealth and Fenway Health is being allotted a very limited number of JYNNEOS Vaccine doses. This is a critical step in safeguarding our patients, clients, and the communities we serve.

Along with other monkeypox vaccine sites in the Commonwealth, we are following CDC and MDPH guidance and administering the vaccine intradermally. This allows us to vaccinate up to five times more people using the same vaccine supply as a subcutaneous injection while producing an equivalent immune response.

As of October 3, 2022, vaccination will be available to individuals who live or work in Massachusetts and meet the CDC’s current eligibility criteria, which have recently expanded to include individuals at potential risk for monkeypox in addition to those with possible recent exposure to an individual with monkeypox:

  • Persons eligible for post-exposure vaccination (PEP) includes:

    • Known contacts identified by public health via case investigation, contact tracing, and risk exposure assessments (this may include sexual partners, household contacts, and healthcare workers); as well as
    • Presumed contacts who meet the following criteria:
      • Know that a sexual partner in the past 14 days was diagnosed with monkeypox
      • Had multiple sexual partners in the past 14 days in a jurisdiction with known monkeypox
  • In addition, CDC now allows for pre-exposure vaccination (PrEP) of persons at risk for monkeypox which includes:

    • Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men, transgender, gender non-conforming, or nonbinary people who
      • Have had a diagnosis of or have sought testing for one or more sexually transmitted diseases (i.e., chancroid, chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis) in the past year
      • Are living with HIV infection
      • Are on or are eligible to be on HIV PrEP
      • Have recently had more than one sex partner
    • People who:
      • Have had sex at a private or commercial sex venue (e.g., sex party, bathhouse)
      • Have had sex in association with a large public event (e.g., rave, circuit party) in a geographic area where monkeypox transmission is occurring
    • Sexual partners of people with the above risks
    • People who anticipate experiencing the above risks

    When you request a vaccine, you will not be asked which of these criteria applies to you. It is sufficient to say that you consider yourself to be at risk for monkeypox.

    While many of the identified cases are within networks of self-identified gay and bisexual men, other men who have sex with men, and transgender individuals who have sex with men, people of any sexual orientation or gender identity can become infected and spread monkeypox.

If you think you might be eligible for a vaccine and would like to receive one from Fenway Health, appointments can be made by calling 617.927.6060, Monday through Friday, between 9 AM and 5 PM.

Walk-in Monkeypox Vaccine Clinic at 1340 Boylston Street

We are now offering monkeypox vaccine walk-in hours for Fenway Health patients and the public at our 1340 Boylston Street location.

  • Tuesday – Thursday, 10 AM – 12 PM and 1 PM – 3 PM
  • Please proceed to the 10th floor
  • If you are not a patient, then we will register you as one for purposes of the vaccine clinic
  • As of October 3, 2022, vaccination will be available to individuals who live or work in Massachusetts and meet the CDC’s current eligibility criteria, which have recently expanded to include individuals at potential risk for monkeypox in addition to those with possible recent exposure to an individual with monkeypox. Read the updated criteria here
  • If you are eligible for vaccination, then you will be vaccinated as soon as possible based on the current clinic schedule
  • We will schedule your second dose on your way out


My first dose was given subcutaneously. Is it okay to get an intradermal vaccine as the second dose?
Yes! For people 18 years or older, they may receive intradermal doses after subcutaneous doses. If your 18th birthday falls between your first and second dose of JYNNEOS, you can still get the second dose as intradermal.

I would like to get the monkeypox vaccine, but I am under 18.
That is okay! Since August 9, 2022 JYNNEOS has been authorized for people under 18.

Does the administration route impact the timeline for a second injection?
No! The current recommendation is to have the second dose no sooner than 28 days after the first. This is the same regardless of the administration route (eg: intradermal or subcutaneous)

You can learn more and find information on other DPH monkeypox vaccine sites in Massachusetts at mass.gov/monkeypox.

The CDC and MDPH have created criteria for who is currently eligible for the Jynneos vaccine. Read the updated criteria here

To receive Jynneos at Fenway Health, please call 617.927.6060 M-F between 9 AM-5 PM.

To receive Jynneos at any other location within Massachusetts, please see the MDPH list of clinics offering Jynneos by appointment.

Per CDC guidance, the vaccine may be given in the following ways:

  • If you are 18 years or older, you may be given the vaccine into the skin layers of your forearm (intradermally, like a tuberculosis skin test).
  • If you are younger than 18 years or have a history of developing keloid scars, you may be given the vaccine in your upper arm intramuscularly, like other vaccines you may have received (like the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) shot).

You are considered vaccinated against monkeypox 14 days after you receive your second vaccine dose. The CDC notes “While we expect the vaccines currently being used to help protect against monkeypox will be effective, we have not previously had an outbreak of monkeypox like the current outbreak. We will know more in the coming months about how effective the JYNNEOS vaccine is in the 2022 monkeypox outbreak. We do not know how long protection might last, or if protection might decrease over time”.

No, anyone who meets eligibility criteria can be vaccinated with Jynneos at Fenway Health.

Yes, you can receive your second dose of Jynneos at Fenway Health regardless of where you received your first dose of Jynneos.

Per the CDC, In most cases, you can get a JYNNEOS vaccine at the same time you get other vaccinations, except possibly COVID-19 vaccine. COVID-19 vaccines may be delayed by 4 weeks if the JYNNEOS vaccine is given first, particularly in young adult men.
If you are getting Jynneos after known exposure to monkeypox, Jynneos vaccination should not be delayed because of recent receipt of a Moderna, Novavax, or Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine; no minimum interval between COVID-19 vaccination with these vaccines and orthopoxvirus vaccination is necessary.

At this time it is believed that the protection your immune system develops after recovering from monkeypox is significant and that the Jynneos vaccines would offer little to no additional benefit and thus Jynneos is not currently recommended if you have been diagnosed with monkeypox during the 2022 outbreak.

Yes, however those who have received a smallpox vaccine in the past may only need 1 dose per the CDC.

(7/25/2022)

(6/13/2022)

For more information about monkeypox, visit the CDC’s information page online.

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