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VA Responds to Monkeypox: DC VA Medical Center Offers Vaccine by Appointment

Monkeypox virus test vials marked positive

VA Responds to Monkeypox: DC VA Medical Center Offers Vaccine by Appointment

VA is working in close collaboration with local and state public health authorities, as well as other federal agencies like Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to ensure Veterans have access to testing, treatment, and prevention tools, such as antivirals and vaccines. In addition, VA is closely following clinical, infection control, and occupational health guidance provided by the CDC.

VA has received approximately 13,000 vials of JYNNEOS™ monkeypox vaccine from Department of Health and Human Services. The initial allocation of the vaccine is being offered to Veterans at risk of infection.

The Washington DC VA Medical Center is receiving a limited supply of the JYNNEOS™ monkeypox vaccine. Veterans receiving care at the Washington DC VA Medical Center or one of its community clinics, who feel they are at-risk for monkeypox, may schedule a vaccine appointment by calling 202-745-8927 or 202-745-8000, ext. 58927.

For Veterans who need the vaccine, the series requires 2 doses per person, 28 days apart.

  • Due to the limited supply and to ensure availability for Veterans who need it, most Veterans will receive their dose of the vaccine in the shallow layers between their skin (intradermal) on their forearm, as authorized by an FDA Emergency Use Authorization. This route, which is being used across the country, uses less vaccine per person and is safe and effective.
  • Some Veterans who have had a type of scarring called a “keloid” will get a dose in the upper arm that is injected in the layer of fat below the skin (subcutaneous).

Any person who comes in direct skin-to-skin contact with another who is infected may catch monkeypox. The current outbreak has, for now, disproportionately affected the gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men populations, who should be prioritized for vaccine based on their personal risk of exposure. VA is following CDC guidelines and prioritizing individuals for the vaccine based on their personal risk of exposure.


What is monkeypox? Monkeypox is a contagious viral disease. The monkeypox virus is closely related to the one that causes smallpox, but the disease is generally less severe and less contagious.

Who is at-risk of contracting monkeypox? Monkeypox can affect people of all ages, sexual orientations, gender identities, and socioeconomic status who are exposed to the virus. In the early stages of the current multi-country outbreak, monkeypox has affected a disproportionate number of gay, bisexual, and men who have sex with men. This is likely related to social, behavioral, and circumstantial factors, and does not imply an increased susceptibility to the infection by this or any other group. While infection is often passed by close intimate and sexual contact, its mode of transmission is not uniquely or preferentially sexual.

How is monkeypox transmitted? Monkeypox is primarily transmitted via direct contact with infectious material from skin lesions and, in the current outbreak, is most commonly associated with sexual activity. Respiratory transmission after prolonged exposure and transmission through contact with contaminated surfaces and objects is possible but infrequent in the current outbreak.

What are the symptoms of monkeypox? Monkeypox typically presents with fever, malaise, swollen lymph nodes, and a characteristic skin rash. A person with monkeypox may have all or only some of those symptoms, and the rash may be widespread or localized to a part of their skin.

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