CDC Mpox Vaccine Recommendations

The DeKalb County Board of Health is following the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and prioritizing mpox vaccine for individuals at high risk of infection:

  • Have had multiple or anonymous sex partners with men who have sex with men in the last six (6) months.
  • Have had skin-to-skin or intimate contact (e.g., kissing, hugging) with persons who have had a rash or are suspected of having monkeypox in the last six (6) months.
  • Have had skin-to-skin or intimate contact (e.g., kissing, hugging) with persons at large venues or events in the past six (6) months.
  • Have engaged in commercial and/or transactional sex in the past six (6) months (e.g., sex in exchange for money, shelter, food, and other goods or needs).
  • Are HIV positive, or on HIV PrEP, or diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection (STI) (i.e., chancroid, chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis).
  • Sexual partners of people with any of the above.
  • People who anticipate experiencing any of the above.

Hyperpigmentation Scars at the Injection Site

Please be advised that if you are eligible to receive the mpox vaccine, you may experience an unappealing, yet normal post-inflammatory reaction at the site of the injection. This is called hyperpigmentation. This reaction will fade over time, but may obviously be bothersome to some and can take a long time to resolve.

  • Those most susceptible are individuals with dark skin.
  • Though the darkened spot can be expected to fade over time, it may take over a year to resolve completely.
  • Taking ibuprofen and/or an antihistamine (Zyrtec®, Claritin®, etc.) daily for 5-7 days after vaccination may reduce inflammation and therefore reduce the darkening somewhat, though not completely.
  • You may help the darkening resolve more quickly by:
    • Protect the site from the sun using either clothing or sunblock, This is the most important thing you can do.
    • Using topical retinoids (Differin® gel available over the counter, Retin-A® available with a prescription).
    • Asking your healthcare provider for other skin lighteners, which are available by prescription.