New York State Department of Health Partners with NYC Health Department to Launch Mpox Vaccine Campaigns Urging Eligible New Yorkers to Prepare Now for a Healthy Summer

The Statewide Multi-Media Campaign Includes Digital Ads, Social Media, Posters and More Running Through Mid-Summer

"It Takes Two" Campaign: It Takes Two to Hug… Two To Tango… Two Doses for Maximum Protection

"Know the Skin You're in" Campaign: Mpox Can Spread to Anyone Through Close, Personal, Skin-to-Skin Contact

ALBANY, N.Y. (May 1, 2023) – The New York State Department of Health is partnering with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to launch a series of robust, multimedia education campaigns to encourage eligible New Yorkers to start or complete their two-dose mpox vaccine series now to help prevent another outbreak.

The State Department of Health campaign launched today, May 1, and will run statewide through mid-summer. It includes digital ads on websites, social platforms, and search engines, as well as posters in stores and throughout communities. The Department today also issued a health advisory to providers across the state regarding mpox cases associated with person-to-person transmission and contacted Local Health Departments to encourage them to sign up for the CDC's vaccine finder tool to maximize accessibility and ensure community members know where to find a nearby vaccine.

"Last year's mpox outbreak took place during the spring and summer months and most impacted communities of men who have sex with men and immunocompromised individuals," Acting State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said. "This year, while mpox cases are extremely low in New York, cases continue to be diagnosed here in New York and around the globe and there is still a risk of resurgence. We are taking proactive measures now to encourage those at risk to get fully vaccinated by getting both doses. Taking this measure of protection is a gesture of self-love and love for the communities in which you live."

While anyone can get mpox, the current outbreak has been associated with sexual contact and has affected certain communities more than others, including those who identify as gay, bisexual, other men who have sex with men, transgender individuals, and others. These communities have historically faced discrimination around sex and sexuality, which has had a measurable impact on LGBTQ+ communities, who face unique health disparities.

The statewide campaign includes powerful imagery highlighting two themes to raise awareness and to draw the attention of New Yorkers:

"It Takes Two" Campaign: It takes two to hug… to tango… two doses to protect yourself from mpox. Start your mpox vaccine series today!

"Know the Skin You're In" Campaign: Mpox can spread to anyone through close, personal, skin-to-skin contact. Get vaccinated for you and your community.

This campaign amplifies the State Health Department's continued mission to advance programmatic priorities around sexual health and to foster a more affirming and respectful approach to sexuality. Being sexually healthy is vital to an individual's overall health. It encompasses physical, emotional, mental, and social well-being in relation to sexuality. Embracing sexual health not only protects the individual, but it also protects their friends, loved ones, and communities. Campaign materials and advertisements were developed with input and feedback from community partners, organizations and non-profits who work with New Yorkers who were initially impacted.

The State Health Department will make available materials and resources developed for the campaign free of charge to partner organizations including LGBTQ+ organizations, local county health departments, health care providers, and businesses for distribution.

After discovering the first suspected—and later confirmed—cases of mpox in New York City in May 2022, the State Health Department quickly launched a robust public awareness campaign and community outreach efforts to ensure access to the JYNNEOS vaccine and to get important mpox information, resources, and education materials directly to individuals with the greatest need. The State Health Department partnered with New York City health officials as well as local, state, and federal health officials, clinical providers and the communities affected to manage the outbreak.

In New York City:

In order to promote safer, healthier sex lives – beyond mpox -- the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene will also launch a campaign to encourage people to take charge of their sexual health and seek sexual health services in the months ahead.

"Spring and summer are a great time for people to connect," New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan said. "As so many people in our city get together, we encourage them to enjoy their sex lives more safely by getting vaccinated for mpox. The city – along with our tremendous community partners – have resources available to help New Yorkers take charge of their sexual health and celebrate a safer, healthier spring and summer."

The City and State Departments of Health have already teamed up to disseminate a joint letter encouraging providers that offer sexual health and HIV services to include mpox vaccination, counseling, screening, testing and treatment alongside their other routine services. The City Health Department also held a webinar for providers, shared guidance, and detailed steps on how they can work with the city and state to help prevent future outbreaks. The City is planning another webinar in the spring to update community partners.

"Queer and Trans New Yorkers have been and will continue to be champions for sexual health. Last year, we endured an outbreak of mpox. As our community tends to do, we worked together to combat the virus and get vaccines to our most vulnerable. This summer will be no different. Queer and Trans New Yorkers will continue to work together against the mpox virus and to center our most vulnerable community members. Please do what you can to start your vaccination series!" - Ace Sutherland, Director of Community Organizing at Equality New York.

"The Southern Tier AIDS Program recognizes the importance of health and vaccine equity, as well as accurate information and preventative education regarding the Mpox vaccination. This approach aligns with current public health efforts to promote equitable access to health care services and to address health disparities among diverse populations. STAP continues to provide accurate information with a focus on health equity and preventative education about the JYNNEOS vaccine that can help to dispel myths and misconceptions about the vaccine and encourage individuals to make informed decisions about their health. By increasing awareness and understanding of the benefits of the JYNNEOS vaccine, more individuals may be encouraged to get vaccinated, which can ultimately help to reduce the burden of an Mpox epidemic and other health conditions." - Tony Fiala, Deputy Executive Director at STAP, Inc.

"Mpox is a serious illness, but it can be prevented. Being aware of your potential exposure and receiving two doses of vaccine will substantially lower your risk of contracting mpox and passing it to another person. We encourage everyone who is eligible, especially those most at risk, to get vaccinated as soon as they can." - NYSACHO President and Nassau County Commissioner of Health Dr. Irina Gelman.

"With the warmer months approaching, now is the right time to protect yourself. If we work together, we can dramatically reduce the impact of the mpox. Contact your health care provider or your local health department today to find out where you can get vaccinated." - Dr. Gregson Pigott, Suffolk County Commissioner of Health.

"We cannot be complacent when it comes to preventing the onset and spreading of infectious diseases like mpox. If you're at risk and eligible, please do your part to protect yourself, your loved ones and your community, get vaccinated for mpox today." - Dr. Sherlita Amler, Westchester County Commissioner of Health.

The City and State Departments of Health are urging everyone who is eligible or may be at risk of getting mpox to get the JYNNEOS vaccine now, in preparation for summer travel as well as Pride events and other large gatherings. Additionally, those who suspect they may have been exposed to mpox or have been identified as a contact of a suspected or confirmed case of mpox should work directly with their local health department or other health care provider to facilitate vaccination and other appropriate care. Funding in the amount of $2.8 million was recently distributed to providers by the State Department of Health's AIDS Institute to help support the delivery of community-based services designed to build knowledge and awareness of mpox in affected communities and build access to mpox services, including testing, treatment, and vaccination to increase detection of mpox cases and curtail transmission.

The two-dose vaccine series is administered subcutaneously, with each dose given 4 weeks apart. Individuals are not considered fully vaccinated (offering maximum protection) until two weeks after their second dose. However, people should get the second dose no matter how much time has passed since their first dose. Data received by the state Department of Health show that during the 2022 outbreak, 17,190 New Yorkers outside NYC received their first dose of the series, but only 65%received their second dose, resulting in more than 6,000 individuals with less than maximum protection. In New York City – between May 19 and December 31, 2022 -- 102,183 first doses were administered but only 52,374 second doses.

Find nearby vaccination sites by visiting the following:

The threat of mpox returning to communities in New York and beyond remains a very real possibility. While current data show mpox cases may have plateaued, the CDC's latest risk assessment of mpox resurgence warns that without proper vaccination, the risk of a resurgent mpox outbreak is 35 percent in most jurisdictions in the United States. The CDC warns that community outbreaks could be as large as, or larger than, the 2022 outbreak. Especially in regions where immunity remains relatively low. This further underscores the importance of vaccination and the protective public health precautions everyone should take.

Mpox symptoms are rarely fatal, but these symptoms can be extremely painful and may cause permanent scarring resulting from the rash. If an individual contracts mpox, there are antiviral medications available to treat the symptoms.

Learn more about mpox at Mpox ( and at Mpox (Monkeypox) - NYC Health.

Health care providers can find more information at the State Department of Health's Provider Information page, which includes the latest guidance for clinicians on mpox treatment.