Who should get a vaccination against monkeypox?
The vaccination of broad population strata against monkeypox is currently not recommended. Prophylactic vaccination is offered exclusively for persons that are part of the following groups:
- healthcare workers with a high risk of exposure to persons infected with monkeypox (designated monkeypox wards/outpatient clinics/doctor’s surgeries)
- persons with individual risk behaviours (persons with multiple sexual partners)
How can I preregister for vaccination?
You can preregister for the monkeypox vaccination by selecting “Monkeypox preregistration campaign” and then updating your personal data by choosing the “Preregistration for monkeypox vaccination” category. Alternatively, you can preregister for the monkeypox vaccination by calling 1450 (around the clock). In accordance with the available quotas and the preregistration category specified, preregistered persons will be contacted via email or text message to make an appointment. You will then be given an appointment for your first dose. Should you require a second dose after an interval of 28 days, you can book an appointment on-site after the first vaccination. Appointments for the monkeypox vaccination are always at the “Impfservice Town Town” vaccination centre (Thomas-Klestil-Platz 8/2, 1030 Vienna).
What is monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a notifiable viral disease. The virus is closely related to smallpox, a disease that was eradicated by 1977 by means of a resolute worldwide vaccination campaign. The monkeypox virus may cause an illness similar to smallpox in humans. Contrary to smallpox, however, monkeypox is rarely fatal. Persons with immunodeficiency, pregnant women and children are at particular risk of a severe course of this disease. The vaccination is, of course, free of charge.
How does infection occur?
In Western and Central Africa, monkeypox is transmitted primarily via infected animals (rodents and monkeys). Transmission among humans may occur through contact with infectious skin lesions, via the mucous membrane by speaking, coughing or sneezing during close and extended contact, and via body fluids, e.g. during sexual contact. Sharing the same clothing, sanitary products or office utensils or even inhaling dust contaminated with the virus may likewise lead to infection.
I was in contact with an infected person; what should I do now? (Treatment & PEP vaccination)
Primarily, monkeypox therapy means treatment of the symptoms. For severe cases, antiviral medication is available. Persons who have been in high-risk contact with an infected and duly notified person can be given post-exposure (PEP) vaccination (post-contact vaccination) with Jynneos®. This vaccination should be administered as soon as possible after contact, ideally within 4 days (and not more than 14 days) post-contact. The schedule comprises two vaccinations with an interval of 28 days between the single doses. For persons who were vaccinated decades ago with the smallpox vaccines then in use, one vaccination is sufficient, since a certain level of immunisation may be taken for granted. For a PEP vaccination, please contact the public health office serving your home district.
How can I protect myself against monkeypox? (PrEP vaccination)
It is recommended that specific groups of persons take pre-exposure vaccination for prophylactic purposes. Further information specifying these groups of persons is given in the FAQ. The schedule comprises two vaccinations with an interval of 28 days between the single doses. The vaccination is administered intradermally, i.e. just below the skin. This makes it possible to reduce the quantity of the vaccine used while still offering the same level of protection; hence, more persons can be vaccinated with the same amount of vaccine. For persons who were vaccinated decades ago with the smallpox vaccines then in use, one vaccination is sufficient, since a certain level of immunisation may be taken for granted.
Recommended behaviour for quarantined persons
What are the symptoms?
The first symptoms appear from 5 to 14 days and not later than 21 days after infection. These symptoms include fever, general fatigue, headache, pain in the limbs, gastrointestinal complaints and swelling of the lymph nodes, which is often painful. After another 1 to 3 days, skin alterations appear and begin to spread (first, these are spots that become small lumps and finally blisters, which will scab and heal once the scabs are shed). These lesions are often not very conspicuous but may hurt and itch. In the genital area, too, very painful open wounds may appear. All skin lesions are infectious until the scabs are shed.
How is monkeypox diagnosed?
The virus can be diagnosed by means of the PCR method in a special lab with a smear taken from the skin lesions or from the mucous membrane of the throat. The smear is sampled by medical personnel applying special protective measures.