A cluster of mpox cases have been reported in the Chicago area, which means the virus is still spreading, and we need to continue to be alert. More than 50% of cases in the cluster have been in people who have been previously vaccinated. Getting vaccinated is still very important. No vaccine is 100% effective, and infections after vaccination are possible, but they may be milder and less likely to result in hospitalization.
What We Know
- Vaccination makes getting and spreading mpox less likely.
- Infections after any vaccination are possible. No vaccine is 100% effective.
- If you have a rash or other symptoms of mpox, you should get tested even if you have been vaccinated or had mpox.
- Getting vaccinated against mpox may help make the symptoms less severe and easier to manage.
- The vaccine may help protect you against severe infection, hospitalization, and death.
- CDC recommends getting vaccination for those who are at risk.
What We Don’t Know
- We don’t know why people in this cluster of cases have gotten mpox after vaccination.
- We don’t know if immunity after vaccination has decreased in these cases or how long the vaccine protects against mpox infection.
- We don’t know if the virus has changed.
What We Are Doing to Find Out
- We are conducting studies to determine how long immunity after vaccination lasts.
- We are looking at specimen samples from these patients to see if the virus has changed.
- We are working closely with our local and state partners to find out:
- How the virus spread among these patients.
- How many patients were vaccinated, if they were fully vaccinated, and when they were vaccinated.
- We are closely monitoring reports of people newly diagnosed with mpox after vaccination.
What Can You Do?
If mpox is in an area where you live or are traveling to:
- Make sure you are up to date on mpox vaccination. Get both doses of the vaccine. It’s never too late to get the second dose.
- Seek health care and get tested if you suspect you have a rash even if you have been previously vaccinated or had mpox. Pay attention to public health and community leaders for advice on how to prevent mpox exposure, including potentially changing some parts of your sex life temporarily. Recommendations may include:
- Short-term changes to your sex life to help limit the spread.
- Limiting new or multiple sex partners
- Avoiding sex in places that might be associated with mpox transmission
- Get up to date on your other health checklist for the summer including HIV and STI testing.