Monkeypox (MPX) Vaccines at UCSF
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UCSF Health provides vaccination against the monkeypox (MPX) virus for all eligible patients. Both first and second doses are available. You don't need to be a UCSF patient to schedule this vaccine at our clinic. Please do not come to UCSF's emergency department for MPX vaccines or testing.
MPX (pronounced "em-pox") is an infectious disease that's currently spreading in the United States. It's transmitted through close contact and causes a rash on various parts of the body. You can learn more about MPX and what to do if you may have been exposed from the San Francisco Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
If you have been exposed to MPX, getting vaccinated may keep you from getting sick. Vaccination is most effective within four days of exposure but can help up to 14 days later. The vaccine consists of two doses, administered at least 28 days apart.
The following people are eligible to receive the vaccine:
- Gay or bisexual men, or any man or trans person who has sex with men or trans people
- Sex workers of any sexual orientation or gender identity
- People who had close contact in the past 14 days with someone who has suspected or confirmed MPX
- People who had close contact in the past 14 days with others at a venue, event or social gathering where a suspected or confirmed MPX case was identified
- Laboratory workers who routinely perform MPX virus testing
- Care providers who had a high-risk exposure at work, such as handling MPX specimens without personal protective equipment
To get vaccinated at UCSF, you must make an appointment. All available appointments are listed in our online portal, MyChart, and we cannot accept walk-ins. Please do not come to the emergency room for MPX vaccines or testing.
Once you've logged in to your account, select "Schedule an appointment." You will be asked a series of questions to verify your eligibility and insurance coverage before you can schedule. Prior to your appointment, you will receive instructions on checking in remotely to ensure your visit is quick and efficient.
- What is MPX?
MPX is a zoonotic virus, meaning it was initially transmitted to humans from infected animals. Early symptoms – fever, swollen glands and muscle aches – may resemble the flu. Many patients also develop a rash that looks like blisters or pimples on the genitals, anus, fingers, mouth, eyes or elsewhere on the body. Spots typically begin as flat sores, then turn into fluid-filled bumps that eventually burst and crust over.
MPX is rarely fatal, and most people recover without treatment in a few weeks. Pain relievers and topical medications can ease the symptoms. If you have a severe infection, your doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication.
- How does MPX spread?
This infectious disease spreads mostly through close, intimate contact, including direct contact with a rash, scabs or other body fluids. It can also be transmitted through respiratory droplets during prolonged face-to-face contact, such as when kissing or during sex. Only patients with active symptoms, which typically last two to four weeks, can spread MPX.
While typically confined to parts of West and Central Africa, an outbreak of MPX is currently occurring in the United States. Many recent cases have occurred in men who have sex with men, but anyone who has close contact with a symptomatic person can contract the disease.