Monkeypox vaccine - Monkeypox

Who can get a monkeypox vaccine

You can get a monkeypox vaccine if you are:

  • in an at-risk group
  • identified as a close contact of someone who has monkeypox — health professionals will let you know if you should get a monkeypox vaccine

At-risk groups

You can get a monkeypox vaccine if you are a man or transgender person who has sex with men, and one of the following applies to you:

  • You have been diagnosed with a bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI) 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.

Book a monkeypox vaccination appointment

Book a monkeypox vaccine appointment online if you are over 18 and you:

  • are in an at-risk group
  • have not had monkeypox
  • have not had a monkeypox vaccine or you have only received your first dose

If you have already received your first dose abroad you can book your second dose online. Wait 4 weeks since your first dose. Tell your vaccinator that this is your second dose.

We will not ask about your sexual practices when you book online or when you are being vaccinated.

If you are 16 or 17 and in at-risk group, you can book an appointment by calling HSE Live on 1800 700 700.

Going to your appointment

Bring ID to your appointment.

About the vaccine

The smallpox vaccine can be used to protect against monkeypox. This is because monkeypox is caused by a similar virus to smallpox. When the smallpox vaccine is used for monkeypox, we call it the monkeypox vaccine.

How the monkeypox vaccine is given

Most people will get the vaccine through an injection between layers of skin in your arm. This is a smaller dose but gives you the same protection as an injection into your upper arm.

Doses of monkeypox vaccine

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.

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

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 have already received your first dose abroad, wait 4 weeks to get your second dose. Tell your vaccinator that this is your second dose.

Protection from monkeypox after vaccine

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

There is a chance you might still get monkeypox, even if you have had the vaccine. But it may reduce any symptoms of monkeypox.

Who should not get the monkeypox vaccine

If you have had monkeypox, you do not need to get the monkeypox vaccine.

Do not get the monkeypox vaccine if you have had an allergic reaction to any of the vaccine ingredients, including:

  • chicken protein
  • benzonase
  • gentamicin
  • ciprofloxacin
  • Trometamol

Monkeypox vaccine 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.

Read more about the side effects in the patient information leaflet - hpsc.ie

Reporting side effects

You can report a side effect on the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) website.

Report a side effect - hpra.ie

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

Monkeypox vaccine and COVID-19 vaccines

If you are due a COVID-19 vaccine dose, you can get it 4 weeks after your monkeypox vaccine.

If you have recently had a COVID-19 vaccine dose, you can get the monkeypox vaccine any time after this. You do not need to wait 4 weeks.

Page last reviewed: 24 November 2022
Next review due: 17 October 2025