Massachusetts launches vaccination effort to curb spread of monkeypox

A vial of monkeypox vaccine. (Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
A vial of monkeypox vaccine. (Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Massachusetts health care providers are starting to provide more doses of a vaccine to contain the growing monkeypox outbreak.

Officials at the state Department of Public Health said they received 2,004 doses of the vaccine, known as JYNNEOS, from the federal government, with more expected in the coming weeks. The doses went to four health care providers, who were allowed to begin vaccinations Wednesday.

Supplies are limited, state officials said, so for now, the vaccine is just for people at high risk of developing monkeypox. This includes people who had close contact with an infected person, and people who had multiple sexual partners in places where monkeypox is known to be spreading.

The vaccine is delivered in two shots, 28 days apart. It can help prevent illness when given before or soon after exposure to monkeypox.

The four health care providers administering the vaccine are: Fenway Health, Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston Medical Center in Boston; and Outer Cape Health Services in Provincetown.

Massachusetts is one of the first 10 states receiving vaccines from the federal government as part of an expanded national strategy to contain monkeypox.

Nationally, the CDC has reported 560 cases. Massachusetts has reported 29 cases of monkeypox so far.

The virus spreads through close contact and results in a rash and other symptoms.

Men who have sex with men appear to be most at risk, but the disease is not limited to the LGBTQ community.


Headshot of Priyanka Dayal McCluskey

Priyanka Dayal McCluskey Senior Health Reporter
Priyanka Dayal McCluskey is a senior health reporter for WBUR.



More from WBUR

Listen Live