Monkeypox - Frequently Asked Questions

Monkeypox is a rare, but potentially serious viral illness which belongs to the orthopoxvirus family. Infection typically begins with flu-like symptoms and swelling of the lymph nodes and progresses to a rash on the face and body. There is currently a global and national outbreak of monkeypox.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are frequently asked questions and references. If further information is needed please contact Health Services at 401-tel:401-456-8055456-8055.

Symptoms of monkeypox can include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion
  • A rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appears on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus

Public awareness is important as the disease could spread within potentially larger groups or networks of people. The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) urges the media, government officials and the community at-large to avoid stigmatizing a particular group or person for monkeypox, but rather support those at highest risk and ensure that all communities remain vigilant. (RI Department of Health, 2022).

Sexual Health Information for Gay/Bisexual Men and Gender Diverse People: Department of Health (

RIDOH is working with community partners to plan additional community clinics. Please use the button below to see all available community vaccination clinics. RIDOH will update this sheet regularly as new appointments become available. RIC has held clinics for monkeypox and will book these through RI Department of Health at their request.

Upcoming Community Monkeypox Vaccination Clinics - Google Sheets

If you cannot currently get an appointment to be vaccinated at one of these clinics or through clinics being held by Open Door Health, the Miriam Hospital Infectious Disease Clinic, Thundermist Health Center, or Tri-County Health Center, you can submit your information to the Vaccine Interest Notification List. RIDOH will contact you when new vaccination appointments are available.  

Please remember that JYNNEOS, the monkeypox vaccine, is a two-dose series. Please make an appointment for your second dose while you are getting your first dose. Your second dose should be at least 28 days after your first dose.


JYNNEOS is an FDA-approved vaccine for the prevention of smallpox and monkeypox in people age 18 or older who are considered at high-risk for smallpox or monkeypox infection.

YNNEOS is a two-dose vaccine series. The second dose should be given at least 28 days after the first dose. Full protection is achieved 14 days after the second dose.

This vaccine does not contain the viruses that cause smallpox or monkeypox. The vaccine is made using the vaccinia virus, a virus is similar to but less harmful than the viruses that cause smallpox and monkeypox.

When the JYNNEOS vaccine first became available, it was administered by subcutaneous injection, which means it was administered into a layer of fat underneath the skin in the upper arm. On August 9, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began allowing healthcare providers to administer JYNNEOS by an intradermal injection. This means the vaccine is administered between two upper layers of skin in the forearm and with a smaller needle. This is how sensitivity tests for allergies and tuberculosis are done.

FDA made this change because intradermal injections require a smaller dose. This is because there are more immune cells near the surface of the skin where the intradermal vaccine is given. Research shows that intradermal and subcutaneous administration produce a similar immune response. Even though a smaller dose is given intradermally, people who get vaccinated by subcutaneous injection and people who get vaccinated by intradermal injection will have very similar protection against monkeypox. By offering this vaccine through intradermal injection, we will effectively increase our supply of JYNNEOS vaccine by five times. This will help make sure everyone who wants to be vaccinated will have an opportunity to be vaccinated. Intradermal administration can cause more redness, swelling, and itchiness at the injection site.

For more information about intradermal JYNNEOS injection, please watch this video from Dr. Philip Chan. (RI Department of Health, 2022).