Mpox (Monkeypox) Vaccine

What You Need To Know

⚠Update 22nd December 2023: The HSE has paused the mpox vaccination programme until further notice. We are advocating for the mpox vaccine to be made available as part of routine vaccinations in sexual health services across Ireland. When we receive more updates we will post them here.

Mpox, the new name for monkeypox: In line with the recent World Health Organisation recommendation, we are updating all of our resources and webpages to ‘mpox’, the new term for monkeypox. 

Who can get a mpox vaccine?

You can get a mpox vaccine if you are a gay or bisexual man or transgender person and one of the following applies to you:

  • You have been diagnosed with a bacterial STI (sexually transmitted infection) in the past 6 months. For example gonorrhoea, syphilis or chlamydia.
  • You have been diagnosed with genital herpes for the first time in the past 6 months.
  • You have had 3 or more sexual partners in the past 3 months.
  • You have had group sex in the past 6 months.
  • You have had sex in a sex-on-premises venue in the past 6 months — this can include a sauna, dark room or sex club.

At this time, the mpox vaccine is not considered necessary if you have had mpox infection before.

If you have received a first dose of the mpox vaccine already, you can book your second dose. Wait 4 weeks since your first dose and tell your vaccinator that this is your second dose. 

How do I book an appointment for a mpox vaccine?

First and second-dose vaccines continue to be available in sexual health clinics in Dublin & Galway. To book an appointment for an mpox vaccine, call or email one of the sexual health service providers below:

Mater Hospital – call 01 8032965 or email:
St Vincent’s Hospital –
University Hospital Galway – call 091 542 294 and ask for the mpox clinic.

What questions will I be asked?

The HSE will not ask you to confirm or prove you meet the at-risk criteria. You will not be asked about your sexual practices or sexual history when you book online, over the phone or when you are being vaccinated. This criteria is set so that you can self-assess your risk and decide if you would benefit from being vaccinated against mpox.

You will be asked for your PPS number but this is optional. The monkeypox vaccine is available to you whether you have a PPS number or not and regardless of your immigration status.

You may be asked to show a form of ID when attending your monkeypox vaccine.

How is the mpox vaccine given?

All mpox vaccines are now given by injecting into your upper arm (subcutaneous). This is the same way you would receive other vaccines. 

The vaccine was previously given into the top layers of skin on your forearm (intradermal), this was when stock of the vaccine were low, which is no longer the case.

How many doses of the vaccine will I get?

If you are receiving a vaccine because you are in an at-risk group, you will get 2 doses of the mpox vaccine, 28 days apart.

If you have received the first dose of the mpox vaccine elsewhere, you can be given your second dose 28 days after you got your first. 

If you had a smallpox vaccine before, you only need 1 dose of the vaccine. But if you have a weak immune system, you will need 2 doses. Vaccines may be less effective for you than other people.

If you are a close contact of someone with mpox, you will get 1 dose of the monkeypox vaccine. Some close contacts will get 2 doses or will be called forward for a second dose after some time.

When will the vaccine start working?

It takes 14 days after you complete your course of vaccine for it to work.

There is a chance you might still get mpox, even if you have had the vaccine. But if you do, it should reduce symptoms of the infection.

Are there any side effects?

The most common side effects of the vaccine are:

  • headache
  • nausea
  • muscle pain (myalgia)
  • tiredness
  • reactions where you got the vaccine, including pain, redness, swelling, hardening and itching

These may affect more than 1 in 10 people.

Report any harmful effects to the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA)

You can report it yourself, or your doctor or family member can do that for you.

Read more about the side effects in the information leaflet –

Can I take other vaccines around the same time?

You can take a COVID-19 vaccine in the days or weeks before your mpox vaccine. However, you should wait 4 weeks after your monkeypox vaccine if you intend to take a COVID-19 vaccine. 

You may take other vaccines such as the seasonal flu vaccine at any time before or after a mpox vaccine. 

For more information, check the HSE FAQ document below.

Where can I get more information?

The HSE has developed a comprehensive FAQ document which you can download here

As soon as new information is made available about vaccination, we’ll share it with you here and on social media. If you have questions about monkeypox vaccination, get in touch with our outreach team

It’s important to get information from a reliable source such as the Health Service Executive (HSE) or Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC). At MPOWER, we are working with these agencies on the response to mpox with our colleagues in the Gay Health Network. We’ll be updating the information on our website and through social media as the situation changes.

Health Protection Surveillance Centre – Monkeypox

Health Service Executive – Monkeypox – Monkeypox information

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