Sexual health

How to protect yourself from a potential mpox resurgence

Get your second dose of the mpox vaccine–or both doses if you haven’t been vaccinated yet!

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Although the peak of the mpox (formerly monkeypox) outbreak is behind us, the CDC expects a resurgence of mpox in the winter/spring of 2024. And places like San Francisco have already seen an uptick in new cases.

Protect yourself and your community

Please drop in for a standard sexual health screen at Magnet or call us at 415-581-1600.


How do I get vaccinated for mpox?

San Francisco AIDS Foundation is providing vaccinations at Magnet. To get vaccinated, please call us at 415-581-1600 or drop in for a standard sexual health visit at Magnet.

Other free mpox clinics and vaccination sites can be found on

Who should get vaccinated for mpox?
  • Cis gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men
  • All transgender and nonbinary individuals (who have sex with cis men or trans folks assigned male at birth)
  • Sex workers of any sexual orientation or gender identity
  • People who have had close contact in the last 6 months with someone with suspected or confirmed mpox
  • People who had close contact with others at a venue or event in a social group in the past 6 months where a suspected or confirmed mpox case was identified
  • People who anticipate experiencing any of the above
  • People who are living with HIV
  • People who are taking or are eligible to take PrEP
  • Lab workers who routinely perform mpox virus testing
  • Clinicians who are likely to collect lab samples from people with mpox
  • Clinicians who have had a high-risk occupational exposure (e.g. examined mpox lesions or collected mpox specimens without using recommend personal protective equipment)
When can I get the second vaccination dose?

We are providing the second dose of the JYNNEOS vaccine to people who are beyond 28 days from receiving their first dose.

The JYNNEOS vaccine is more effective in preventing mpox with two doses rather than one. Recent studies of the 2022 US mpox outbreak have estimated that the effectiveness of the JYNNEOS vaccine in preventing mpox disease was 35% to 75% after 1 dose and 66% to 85% after 2 doses.

As of publication date for this article, no “booster” vaccine is recommended if you have already received both doses of the JYNNEOS vaccine. If you have been previously diagnosed with mpox, it is not recommended that you receive an mpox vaccine at this time.

How long does it take for the vaccine to work?

You can start to have an immune response after the first dose of JYNNEOS, but it takes two weeks after the second dose to be the most protected.

It’s not known how long protection might last, or if protection might decrease over time. CDC is working to enhance the knowledge on how well the JYNNEOS vaccine works during the current mpox outbreak, as well as how long protection might last. These studies will be used to make future vaccine recommendations.

Intradermal or subcutaneous dosing?

We are offering both subcutaneous and intradermal vaccinations. Subcutaneous doses are administered in the fat layer underneath the skin on the back of your upper arm. Intradermal dosing is a way of administering a vaccine in between layers of the dermis, or skin. The injection is more “shallow” than subcutaneous injections. Using intradermal dosing, a smaller volume of vaccine is needed to achieve the same level of immune (antibodies) response as with a subcutaneous injection. For more information, see our FAQ about intradermal dosing.

The intradermal administration works as well as the subcutaneous administration despite the lower dose. People under age 18 and people with a history of keloid scarring will continue to receive a subcutaneous dose. No matter the choice you make, it is important to get your second dose of the mpox vaccine if it has been at least 28 days since you received your first dose, to be fully vaccinated against mpox.

Will I experience any side effects?

Not everyone has side effects, but some people do. The most common side effects after JYNNEOS vaccination 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. These are signs that your immune system is responding, not that you’re getting sick.

When JYNNEOS vaccine is given intradermally, some people have reported less pain after vaccination but more side effects like itching, swelling, redness, thickening of the skin, and skin discoloration at the spot where the vaccine was given. Some of these side effects may last for several weeks. If you have concerns about receiving the vaccine intradermally, you can ask for the vaccine to be given to you subcutaneously.

Will the smallpox vaccine protect me from mpox?

The smallpox vaccine can protect you from getting mpox, however the immunity does wane over time. Most people have not gotten the smallpox vaccine recently enough to be considered protected.

If it has been more than 3 years since your smallpox vaccine, you should get vaccinated again with JYNNEOS.

What do I need to know about Interactions with other drugs?

We are advising clients to inform their provider of any medications they are taking to make sure there is no drug interaction with the vaccine.

Know how mpox is transmitted, and take steps to reduce your risk

It is important to receive both doses in the two-dose series in order to be best protected against mpox.


The JYNNEOS vaccine is safe and effective at reducing the risk of mpox, with two doses providing the best protection, regardless of how the vaccine is administered.

There is no shortage of mpox vaccine now. San Francisco Department of Public Health and many other health departments in California have removed all eligibility criteria. Anyone who may be at risk of getting mpox can now receive the JYNNEOS vaccine.


Mpox symptoms often start with flu-like symptoms, including fever, headache, and fatigue, but not everyone has these symptoms. 1 to 3 days later, people may get a rash or “blisters” on the face, arms, legs, hands, feet, and genital and anal areas – the genital/anal rash appear to be very common during this outbreak. It usually takes around 5 to 14 days after any exposure for symptoms to appear (the “incubation period”).

Mpox can look different in different stages. The CDC has more information about mpox signs and symptoms.

How it spreads

Mpox spreads through prolonged skin to skin contact. Contact includes: sex, kissing, breathing at very close range, sharing bedding, and clothing.

Less commonly, it may spread through: needles or other sharp objects that have come in contact with a skin lesion of someone with mpox.

Mpox is not nearly as contagious as Covid-19. It does not spread by casual conversation, or walking by someone with mpox in a grocery store. You need to have prolonged, physical contact or share bedding or clothing with someone who has the virus.


Testing for mpox involves taking a swab of the rash to see if it might be caused by mpox or a different infection. Only those experiencing rash or blister-like symptoms may receive testing at this time, which involves taking a swab of the rash. Stop in for a standard sexual health screen at Magnet for testing.

Diagnosis & Treatment

Diagnosis and treatment is available at Magnet for people that develop rashes around their genitals and/or anal area, and/or on face, hands/feet, and other parts of the body that may be caused by mpox or another infection. Stop in for a standard sexual health screen at Magnet.

Reduce your risk

#1 Get vaccinated

We recommend that people who may be at risk of mpox receive both doses of the JYNNEOS vaccine. It is important to receive both doses in the two-dose series in order to be best protected against mpox. The second dose can be given at least 28 days after the first dose. The CDC has more information about how to receive the first and second doses of the vaccine.

If you have not been vaccinated (received no doses) or have never had mpox infection and you have been notified about an exposure, you should receive the vaccine as quickly as possible to reduce the chance of developing an infection.

#2 Be aware, but not overly afraid

Mpox is transmitted from person to person during skin-to-skin contact with a person who has a rash (like during sex, or dancing), or contact with body fluids like when kissing and when engaging in water sports. Even though it’s technically possible to transmit mpox on surfaces (like if you share a towel with someone who has mpox), it’s less likely. There isn’t much risk of getting mpox from sharing things like toilet seats, pools, and gym equipment, or being in a steam room or sauna with someone who has mpox.

If you believe you have mpox, the safest thing for yourself and the community is to stay home.

#3 It’s OK to be picky with your sex partners

We do this all the time — there are a ton of factors that go into choosing who you’ll have sex with and what you’ll do with that person (or people). Pay attention to how you’re making choices about who you hook up with, and be aware of situations that make you feel uncomfortable or beyond any limits you set for yourself. This advice can be about mpox, but also a reminder about safety and consent.

Keep in mind that condoms can reduce risk of mpox, but not eliminate risk entirely, since mpox rashes/lesions can show up all over the body.

This campaign is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $5,000,000 with 100 percent funded by CDC/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, CDC/HHS or the U.S. Government.