***Vaccine Update 18 October 2022***

Following the launch of the portal on 17 October 2022, the HSE has said that demand for the monkeypox vaccine has been high with all available appointments fully booked. Further appointments will be made available at the start of November.

 

Who can get a monkeypox vaccine?

You can get a monkeypox 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 monkeypox vaccine is not considered necessary if you have had monkeypox infection before.

 

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

 

 

How do I book a monkeypox vaccine?

If you are over 18 and you meet the criteria above you can book a monkeypox vaccine at hse.ie/monkeypox.

If you are between 16 and 18 and meet the criteria above, you can book an appointment by calling HSE Live on 1800 700 700.

 

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 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 monkeypox.

 

You may 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.

 

How is the monkeypox vaccine given?

There are 2 ways to get the vaccine:

  1. by injecting into your upper arm (subcutaneous)
  2. by injecting between layers of skin in your arm (intradermal) — this is a smaller dose but gives you the same protection.

If you are aged 16 to 18, you will get the vaccine through an injection in your upper arm.
If you have keloid scars, you will get the vaccine through an injection in your upper arm.

 

How many doses of the vaccine will I get?

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

If you have received the first dose of the monkeypox 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 monkeypox, you will get 1 dose of the monkeypox vaccine. Some close contacts will get 2 doses.

 

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 monkeypox, even if you have had the vaccine. But if you do, it may reduce any 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 – hpra.ie

 

Where can I get more information?

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

It’s important to get information from a reliable source such as the Health Service Executive (HSE) or Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC). At man2man.ie, we are working with these agencies on the response to monkeypox with our partners in the MPOWER. 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

MPOWER Monkeypox Information

 

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