Here's all you need to know about the monkeypox vaccination

As the monkeypox virus makes more and more headlines, the onslaught of ever-evolving information can become overwhelming, so we've taken the time to outline everything you need to know.

Close up of someone administering a vaccination to a patient
Image: Photo by Ed Us on Unsplash

Last week, Wednesday, August 17, the HSE announced its plan for the rollout of the monkeypox vaccination, which gained a mixed response from the public. While many LGBTQ+ community members welcomed the announcement, others raised concerns about a lack of specific financial support for those who have been forced to isolate to prevent the spread of the virus, and the general delay in response was also criticised as cases continue to rise.

Although resources for the vaccination rollout are indeed limited, has remained a wealth of information on all things monkeypox, so we’ve put together the key facts everyone should know about the vaccine.

How many doses of the vaccine are needed?

  • Those at high risk of catching monkeypox will receive two doses of the vaccination.  The second dose will be administered 28 days after the first.
  • Those who have already been infected with monkeypox will only need one dose of the vaccine.
  • Similarly, those who have already had smallpox vaccines will only need one dose.
  • Those with weak immune systems will be the exception to the above, and they will require two doses.
  • It will take 14 days for the vaccine to become effective after it’s been administered.

When can I get the vaccine?

  • Close contacts of confirmed monkeypox cases are already being offered vaccines (following a risk assessment by public health teams).
  • Gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM) and Trans people who have been diagnosed with syphilis between December 2021 and July 2022 will be prioritised for vaccination in the coming weeks and months. The HSE has identified 6,000 people who qualify as most at risk, and of these, 600 will be offered a jab in the first phase of the rollout.
  • Health professionals will be in direct contact with those eligible for vaccines as the administration begins, so there is no need for patients to take any action at this stage.
  • Other at-risk individuals will be offered the vaccine later this year or in early 2023, pending the vaccine supply.


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How much protection does the vaccine offer?

Although the vaccine offers a good level of protection against monkeypox, it is not impossible to become infected even after having the vaccination. However, it is believed that having the vaccination will reduce the symptoms of the virus.


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Where can I learn more?

Keep an eye on for more monkeypox vaccination updates as we learn more, but in the meantime, you can get more information on the virus from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) here, on the HPSC website, or at

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