Alberta Health Services
Mpox vaccine protects against orthopoxvirus infections such as mpox (previously called monkeypox) and smallpox. There are currently no cases of smallpox in Canada, but there are cases of mpox.
Mpox vaccine is approved for use in Canada.
You may be able to get this vaccine if you have a higher risk of being exposed to mpox.
You may have a higher risk if you identify as part of the men who have sex with men (MSM) community or have had or are planning to have sexual contact with someone who identifies as MSM, and 1 of the following applies to you:
You should also get this vaccine if you had close contact with someone who has mpox. It is best to get this vaccine within 4 days of close contact, but you can get it up to 14 days after. Once your symptoms start, you can no longer get the vaccine.
Call Health Link at 811 to find out if you should get this vaccine.
Talk to your healthcare provider before getting this vaccine if you are under age 18 years. Mpox vaccine is licensed for people age 18 years or older. However, vaccine experts support using mpox vaccine for people of any age who are at high risk of being exposed to mpox or have had close contact with someone who has mpox. If you get the vaccine and are under age 18 years, this is called “off-label use.”
There is limited information on the use of mpox vaccine in children. Studies done with similar vaccines show there were no safety concerns for children under age 18 years.
You may not be able to get this vaccine if:
If you have allergies or have had a side effect from this vaccine in the past, check with your doctor or a public health nurse before you get mpox vaccine.
Although you can get the vaccine if you have a mild illness such as a cold or fever, you should stay home until you are feeling better to prevent spreading your illness to others, unless you have been exposed to mpox. If you have been exposed, you should get the vaccine right away.
You can get the vaccine if you have eczema (atopic dermatitis—a skin condition that makes your skin red and itchy). People with eczema are more likely to have serious side effects with other smallpox vaccines, but this has not been reported with mpox vaccine. If you have eczema and get mpox vaccine, you may be more likely to have common vaccine side effects or your eczema could get worse. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have questions.
There is more to learn about mpox vaccine and certain groups of people. Talk to your healthcare provider before you get mpox vaccine if:
If you are getting the vaccine because you have a high risk of being exposed to mpox, you need 2 doses.
If you are getting the vaccine because you had close contact with someone who has mpox, you need at least 1 dose. You may need more doses depending on your risk of being exposed to mpox virus again and your immune system health.
If you have had smallpox vaccine in the past, you may need fewer doses of mpox vaccine.
Talk to your healthcare provider about how many doses you need.
If you think you may be at higher risk for being exposed to mpox, call Health Link at 811 to see if you can get the vaccine.
If you think you need the vaccine because of your work in a research lab, talk to your workplace health and safety department.
Public Health will contact you if you are identified as a close contact of a confirmed case of mpox. If Public Health decides that you need mpox vaccine, they will tell you where to go for the vaccine.
It is best not to get mpox vaccine at the same time as another vaccine so that you can watch for side effects. However, if you have been exposed to mpox, you should not wait to get mpox vaccine.
If you are at a high risk of being exposed to mpox, it is recommended to wait for 14 days after getting another vaccine before you get mpox vaccine, but it is not required. If you recently got a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine, it is recommended to wait for 4 weeks before you get mpox vaccine, but it is not required. There are no safety concerns, and both vaccines will still work to protect you.
If you got another vaccine in the last 4 weeks, talk to your healthcare provider about when you should get mpox vaccine.
After getting mpox vaccine, you should wait at least:
For mpox vaccine to work, you need to get it before mpox symptoms start. If you get mpox vaccine after contact with mpox virus, the vaccine can protect you from getting an mpox infection, or it can make the infection milder. If you have a weak immune system, the vaccine may not work as well.
Vaccine safety is a top priority. Canada uses extremely safe vaccines. Learn more about vaccine safety in Canada, including how vaccines are monitored for continued safety, and ingredients in vaccines.
There can be side effects from the mpox vaccine, but they tend to be mild and go away in a few days. Side effects may include:
At least 1 out of 100 people who got this vaccine reported 1 or more of these side effects. In some cases, it is unknown if the vaccine caused these side effects.
It is important to stay at the clinic for 15 minutes after your vaccine. Some people may have a rare but serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. If anaphylaxis happens, you will get medicine to treat the symptoms.
It is rare to have a serious side effect after a vaccine. Call Health Link at 811 to report any serious or unusual side effects.
There have been rare reports of cardiac (heart) symptoms after getting mpox vaccine. However, none were considered serious. There have also been reports of myopericarditis (an inflammation of both the heart muscle and lining around the heart) after other vaccines that protect against smallpox. However, no cases of myopericarditis after mpox vaccine have been reported. Get medical help right away if you have any of these symptoms:
It is not known if having a history of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) or pericarditis (inflammation of the lining around the heart) after getting mpox vaccine or another smallpox vaccine puts you at higher risk of having these rare events. Talk to your healthcare provider before getting mpox vaccine if you have had these rare events after getting a smallpox vaccine or mpox vaccine
There can be mild, short-term side effects after getting a vaccine. Find tips to manage these side effects at home.