State Department of Health Expands Monkeypox Vaccine Eligibility to Include Anyone at Risk of Exposure

Phase 4a of Monkeypox Vaccine Distribution Plans Detailed

Department Launches FAQ webpage for Colleges and Universities

Learn more about monkeypox:

ALBANY, N.Y. (September 14, 2022) – The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) today announced plans to distribute 3,840 vials of Monkeypox vaccine allocated by the federal government in Phase 4a of the vaccine distribution effort. With each vial containing 4 to 5 doses, Phase 4a will bring more than 15,000 doses to eligible New Yorkers. The vaccines will also now be made available to all individuals at risk of becoming infected as vaccine eligibility is expanded. Prior to this expansion, eligibility was limited to those who were likely exposed.

"By expanding eligibility, we are hopeful that many more New Yorkers will get immunized and prevent further transmission." State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said. "This distribution plan, and the eligibility expansion, will enable us to get the vaccine to more individuals across the state before they are exposed."

According to new NYSDOH guidance, statewide eligibility now includes all individuals at risk of becoming infected with Monkeypox. Exposure includes the following:

  • Individuals with recent exposure to a suspected or confirmed monkeypox case within the past 14 days. (PEP)
  • Those at high risk of a recent exposure to monkeypox, including gay men and members of the bisexual, transgender, and gender non-conforming community and other communities of men who have sex with men and who have engaged in intimate, or skin-to-skin contact with others in the past 14 days in areas where monkeypox is spreading. (PEP++)
  • Individuals who have had skin-to-skin contact with someone in a social network experiencing monkeypox activity, including men who have sex with men who meet partners through an online website, digital application ("app"), or social event, such as a bar or party. (PEP++)
  • Any individual who may be at risk of future exposure to infection with monkeypox, even though they are not at high risk of a recent exposure to monkeypox. (PrEP)

NOTE: People with a known exposure to a suspected or confirmed monkeypox case in the past 14 days should work directly with their local health department (LHD) and healthcare provider to discuss obtaining the JYNNEOS vaccine as quickly as possible.

With the allotment of 3,840 new vials of vaccine from the federal government to be delivered in the coming days, 520 will be delivered to Westchester County; 240 to Nassau County; 200 to Onondaga County; 140 to St. Lawrence County; 120 each to Erie County and Rockland County; 100 each to Albany County, Dutchess County, and Monroe County; 60 to Jefferson County and Sullivan County; 40 to Broome County, Cattaraugus County, Chautauqua County, Madison County, and Tomkins County; and 20 to Chemung County, Clinton County, Columbia County, Delaware County, Herkimer County, Putnam County, Rensselaer County, Schenectady County, Schoharie County, and Steuben County.

The Department will send an additional 1,000 vials to New York City, which has seen the bulk of the cases, and will also reserve 680 vials for future distribution as needs arise.

NYSDOH remains strongly committed to an equitable distribution of vaccine.

In addition to the vaccine distribution plans and expanded eligibility, NYSDOH has also launched a new FAQ page for higher education administrators. This is the latest part of a comprehensive public awareness campaign to get monkeypox information directly to New Yorkers. This includes paid, digital advertising to reach men who have sex with men and the creation of a dedicated website with the latest information on monkeypox. The website has free, downloadable materials including a palm card, information card, handout, and posters available in both English and Spanish. Governor Hochul and NYSDOH launched a new SMS text message effort to get New Yorkers information about monkeypox, including the ability to opt-in to location-based messages that may include the availability of vaccine and care in New Yorkers' areas.

While anyone can get monkeypox, which is primarily spread through close, physical contact between people, certain populations are being affected more than others, including gay, bisexual, transgender, and gender non-conforming men who have sex with men. Information from previous outbreaks around the world indicate that older New Yorkers, those with weakened immune systems, pregnant people, and children under 8 years of age may be at heightened risk for severe outcomes should they become infected.

New Yorkers can sign-up for the text campaign by texting "MONKEYPOX" to 81336 or "MONKEYPOXESP" for texts in Spanish. New Yorkers will be able to provide their zip code to opt-in to location-based messaging, if they choose.

For more information about monkeypox, including case counts by county, treatment, and care, visit:

New Yorkers can learn more about New York State's first vaccine allocation from the federal government here; the second allocation ("2A") here and ("2B") here, and the third allocation here and here.