Employee Mpox Vaccine Information

  • There are two vaccines available for mpox (and other similar viral infections, such as smallpox).  *Please note: VUMC does not have mpox vaccine on-hand to administer. Vaccine is obtained from the CDC or TN Dept of Health for specific individuals who have been identified as either higher-risk contacts or at increased risk for exposure.


    • New vaccine for mpox and smallpox
    • Live virus vaccine – weakened so it does not cause smallpox or mpox infection
    • 2 injections just under the skin, 4 weeks apart
    • Common side effects include sore arm, redness, headache, muscle aches, and tiredness
    • It is not recommended if you have a severe allergy to any of the ingredients in the vaccine
    • It can be given to people with weakened immune systems or eczema/other skin conditions (or those who have household contacts with these conditions)
    • Not studied in pregnant or breastfeeding individuals – it is not contraindicated in these individuals if needed
    • Myocarditis/pericarditis (inflammation of heart muscle or outer membrane) has not been seen with this vaccine.  It has been seen with another type of smallpox vaccine (see below under ACAM2000) so cannot exclude the possibility with JYNNEOS.


    • Has been available for a long time
    • Live virus vaccine that causes a “take” (a lesion at the site of the vaccine administration) that can be infectious. (Think of the scar you may have seen on the arm of people who were vaccinated against smallpox years ago.)
    • Administered as a series of small punctures to the skin of the upper arm
    • It is used for smallpox, but can be used against mpox under special circumstances
    • Because of the risk of infection (to self or others) from the lesion that results from the vaccination as well as other side effects (such as myocarditis/pericarditis – inflammation of the heart muscle or outer membrane), the following individuals should not get vaccinated with ACAM2000: 
      • People with a significantly weakened immune system
      • People who are pregnant
      • People with eczema or other skin conditions
      • People with heart disease or multiple risk factors for heart disease
      • People who have household contacts who have weakened immune systems or eczema/other skin conditions
      • People with a severe allergy to an ingredient in the vaccine
  • Right now, vaccine is limited to specific individuals:

    • Individuals at risk for occupational exposure e.g.,
      • Clinical lab staff who handle mpox specimens;
      • Research staff who work with mpox (or other similar viruses) in a research lab
    • Individuals with a known higher risk exposure to an individual with mpox
    • Certain individuals at high risk for community exposure (e.g,. individuals who are aware that a sexual partner has been diagnosed with mpox, or individuals who have had multiple sexual partners in the last 14 days in an area where mpox is present).

    Occupational Health will work to obtain vaccine for those who have an occupational risk or an occupational exposure that requires vaccination.  If you have a concern about a community exposure or are considered high risk for exposure, the Tennessee Dept of Health would assist with determining if vaccination is appropriate.

    At this time, the CDC does not advise most healthcare workers to receive the mpox vaccine.

  • If you have received the Mpox vaccine outside of Occupational Health and would like to add it to your Occupational Health record, you may complete the Self-Report of Mpox Vaccine REDCap at: Self-Report of Mpox Vaccine.

    As with other self-report vaccine REDCap surveys, we do need documentation to update your record, so you will have the opportunity to either upload your documentation or grant us permission to obtain the information from your Vanderbilt Medical Record.