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'It's very safe': Skin redness after intravenous monkeypox vaccination shouldn't cause alarm

A man waits in line to receive a monkeypox vaccine in Brooklyn, N.Y., earlier this month.
Kena Betancur
/
AFP via Getty Images
A man waits in line to receive a monkeypox vaccine in Brooklyn, N.Y., earlier this month.

Health care providers in South Florida recently switched to a skin-deep method of administering the Jynneos vaccine against monkeypox, after this was authorized by the Food and Drug Administration.

This type of vaccination, called intradermal, uses one-fifth of the dose that was previously administered into the fat tissue beneath the skin, or subcutaneously. This allows the supply of Jynneos vaccines to stretch to more patients.

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But Joel Ramos Morales, an advanced registered nurse practitioner at Latinos Salud, wants people to know that skin redness at the injection site for some three to four days is normal.

"[The intradermal vaccination] will go in between the layers of the skin, and that’s why it’s getting the redness because the area is more sensitive," Ramos Morales explained to WLRN at a Latinos Salud clinic in Miami Beach. "It’s very safe, it’s very minimal side effect and it only lasts a few days. It’s better to prevent to get the disease."

Latinos Salud told WLRN that people shouldn't feel scared to begin their vaccination or get their second shot because of concerns about the side effects. These symptoms are being reported more than after the subcutaneous injection, which was how the Jynneos vaccine was being given previously.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people, "particularly adolescent or young adult males, might consider waiting 4 weeks" after taking the monkeypox vaccine before taking a round of COVID-19 vaccination.

That's because of a possible risk for myocarditis as well as pericarditis that has been observed after receiving the ACAM2000 orthopoxvirus vaccine - used against smallpox - and some COVID-19 vaccines. Experts don't know if this risk exists with the Jynneos vaccine, but they are concerned it may be possible due to similarities in the vaccines.

In general, a person should get the second Jynneos shot 28 days after the first one. It takes two shots and about two weeks after the second injection to get the strongest protection against monkeypox. Presently Florida has the third most cases of the disease, after California and New York.

Men who have sex with men and people with compromised immune systems because of HIV or cancer, for instance, are still being prioritized for the vaccines.

To schedule a vaccine appointment, click on the links below:

Verónica Zaragovia was born in Cali, Colombia, and grew up in South Florida. She’s been a lifelong WLRN listener and is proud to cover health care for the station. Verónica has a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master's degree in journalism. For many years, Veronica lived out of a suitcase (or two) in New York City, Tel Aviv, Hong Kong, Las Vegas, D.C., San Antonio and Austin, where she worked as the statehouse and health care reporter with NPR member station KUT.