While the risk of mpox, previously known as monkeypox, to most people remains low, the mpox vaccine is available for San Diego residents who are at risk.
The mpox vaccine is available at VCC. To see if you are eligible and make an appointment: Email Mpox@vcc.org or Call 760-631-5000; ext 8184 to see if you may be eligible to receive this vaccine.
The CDC recommends vaccination for people who have been in close contact with people who have mpox. Currently, this outbreak is mostly affecting gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men. People who may be eligible for vaccination include:
- People who have been identified by public health officials as a contact of someone with mpox
- People who know that one of their sexual partners in the last 14 days has been diagnosed with mpox
- People who had multiple sexual partners in the last 14 days
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- What is mpox?
- How is mpox spread?
- How can you prevent the spread of mpox?
- Who should get vaccinated?
- What should you do if you think you have mpox?
- Is there a treatment for mpox?
Q: What is mpox?
A: Mpox, previously known as monkeypox, is a viral disease. Symptoms include:
- Muscle aches and backache
- Swollen lymph nodes
- A rash that can look like pimples or blisters
A: Mpox is spread through close skin-to-skin contact, including:
- Direct contact with infectious rash, scabs, body fluids – this includes sharing utensils or articles of clothing
A: Although the most effective way to prevent mpox is to avoid sex of any kind (oral, anal, vaginal) and kissing or touching while sick, there are ways to reduce your risk without total abstinence:
- Have virtual sex with no in-person contact.
- Masturbate together at a distance of at least six feet, without touching each other and without touching any rash.
- Turn on the lights and look for possible signs of infection before having sex.
- Consider having sex with your clothes on or covering areas where rash is present, reducing as much skin-to-skin contact as possible. Condoms alone are likely not enough to prevent mpox.
- Avoid kissing.
- Remember to wash your hands, fetish gear, sex toys and any fabrics (bedding, towels, clothing) after having sex.
- Do not share things like towels, fetish gear, sex toys or toothbrushes.
- Limiting your number of sex partners may reduce the possibility of exposure.
- Avoid touching the rash. Touching the rash can spread it to other parts of the body and may delay healing.
If you feel sick or have a rash, do not attend any gathering, and see a healthcare provider. Gatherings include:
- A rave, party, or club where there is minimal clothing and where there is direct, personal, skin-to-skin contact has some risk. Avoid any rash you see on others and consider minimizing skin-to-skin contact.
- Enclosed spaces, such as back rooms, bath houses, sex clubs or private and public sex parties where sexual contact with multiple partners occurs, may have a higher likelihood of spreading mpox.
Unlike COVID-19, mpox can only be spread when you are experiencing symptoms. However, symptoms can last up to four weeks. You can spread it to others from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed.
A: CDC recommends vaccination against mpox if:
- You had known or suspected exposure to someone with mpox
- You had a sex partner in the past 2 weeks who was diagnosed with mpox
- You are a gay, bisexual, or other man who has sex with men or a transgender, nonbinary, or gender-diverse person who in the past 6 months has had any of the following:
- A new diagnosis of one or more sexually transmitted diseases (e.g., chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis)
- More than one sex partner
- You have had any of the following in the past 6 months:
- Sex at a commercial sex venue (like a sex club or bathhouse)
- Sex related to a large commercial event or in a geographic area (city or county for example) where mpox virus transmission is occurring
- You have a sex partner with any of the above risks
- You anticipate experiencing any of the above scenarios
- You have HIV or other causes of immune suppression and have had recent or anticipate future risk of mpox exposure from any of the above scenarios
- You work in settings where you may be exposed to mpox:
- You work with orthopoxviruses in a laboratory
- You are part of an orthopoxvirus and health care worker response team
- See a health care provider if you notice a new or unexplained rash or other mpox symptoms.
- Avoid close contact with other people and pets.
- If your test result is positive, stay isolated until your rash has healed, all scabs have fallen off and a fresh layer of skin has formed.
A: A health care provider may prescribe antiviral to treat mpox infections if you are more likely to get severely ill due to another health condition, such as immune suppression.