There are a lot of rumors going around social media about the monkeypox virus. The VERIFY team is working hard to make sure you know what is true and what is not.
We took some claims being made about the virus to Dr. Amesh Adalja, Senior Scholar at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.
CLAIM: Wearing a mask will protect you from getting monkeypox.
FALSE: Adalja said, “Although monkeypox is something that could technically be transmitted through respiratory droplets, that's not the main way it's getting around. What's happening is people are in close contact with each other, and that's how the transmission is occurring.”
CLAIM: You should get the monkeypox vaccine within four days from the time you are exposed.
True: Adalja said, “The monkeypox vaccine can work as post exposure prophylaxis, and basically abort any monkeypox infection from occurring. If you get it early in your incubation period.”
CLAIM: You must get a second dose of the monkeypox vaccine to be fully protected.
True: Adalja said, “The data for the monkeypox vaccine, JYNNEOS, is based on a two-dose regimen. However, there is a lot of data that shows even a single dose provides significant protection but to be fully vaccinated, it's a two-dose regimen.”
CLAIM: If you got the smallpox vaccine decades ago, you are protected and do not need to get the monkeypox vaccine.
False: Adalja said, “If you got the smallpox vaccine several decades ago, its protection against infection with monkeypox has likely waned to some degree. You're likely protected against the severe disease, but you should still get vaccinated against monkeypox if you fall into that high-risk category.”
CLAIM: HIV PrEP will protect you from the monkeypox virus.
False: Adalja said, “HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, is a very important tool for the prevention of HIV. However, it has no effect on prevention of monkeypox.”
CLAIM: People with a compromised immune system should not get the monkeypox vaccine.
False: Adalja said, “The JYNNEOS monkeypox vaccine was developed precisely with people that were immunocompromised and couldn't receive the earlier first-generation smallpox vaccine.”
CLAIM: There are different types of monkeypox vaccines.
True: Adalja said, “There are different types of monkeypox vaccines. The one that's currently being used is something called JYNNEOS. That's a second-generation smallpox monkeypox vaccine. That is a two-dose regimen that is safe in immunocompromised individuals. There is an older smallpox vaccine called AKM 2000, which is also effective against monkeypox.”
CLAIM: If you had monkeypox recently, you don't need the vaccine.
True: Adalja said, “If someone has had monkeypox and has recovered, they're likely immune from reinfection for a period of several years.”