Monkeypox vaccine effectiveness — we don’t know much

monkeypox vaccine effectiveness

There’s a lot of information on various news sites about the effectiveness of the monkeypox vaccine. They often claim it’s 80% or higher. Unfortunately, I accepted those numbers as a “scientific fact,” so I decided to dig into what supported the claims of the effectiveness of the monkeypox vaccine. I was surprised by what I found.

I think when something like monkeypox, or the novel coronavirus two years ago, we jump on early data without analyzing it properly. And that’s where we stand with the monkeypox vaccine — exactly how safe and effective is it?

I’m not going into the safety of the vaccine at thiscause I don’t have good data to give you. In fact, I don’t have really good data to give you about the vaccine’s effectiveness, and that’s my point.

So, let’s take a look at the evidence that has been published on the effectiveness of the monkeypox vaccine.

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Smallpox vaccine effectiveness for monkeypox — some facts

monkeypox vaccine

I have read several times that the effectiveness of the smallpox vaccine against monkeypox was over 85%. The number comes from the CDC website information about monkeypox which most of us take as authoritative.

I know that I’m probably rushing a little bit to talk about monkeypox and a potential vaccine, given that there have been only two hundred confirmed and suspected cases in the world (as of the date of this article), but there are some troubling issues with this outbreak including a much higher infectivity rate.

If those of us who have received the smallpox vaccine (which was at least 40 years ago for the youngest of us) retain 85% effectiveness against monkeypox, then I’m going to worry a lot less. However, even though that number was posted by the CDC, they gave no links to peer-reviewed articles that support that number. And it was unclear whether they meant the modern smallpox vaccines or the ancient vaccine that nearly 100% of us received decades ago.

So, I’m going to dig into it because I think we should know. Plus the more accurate information we have, the better we are going to deal with the inevitable anti-vaccine tropes, memes, and outright lies that will soon appear across the internet.

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Monkeypox virus — what is it and is there a vaccine?


Massachusetts health authorities confirmed a case of monkeypox on 18 May 2022 after the CDC said it was monitoring the possible spread of the rare but potentially serious viral illness. The virus has spread in several countries and the CDC believes that the actual number of cases is being underreported because few physicians know much about the disease.

When I first heard about the novel coronavirus, I thought that the press was exaggerating and that the disease would disappear in a few weeks. Yes, I was wrong, very wrong.

When I read the first reports of a monkeypox outbreak, I decided to write about it because I was getting questions about the seriousness of the disease and if there was a vaccine for it. It is a serious disease, and as for the vaccine, it’s complicated.

So, let’s talk about monkeypox and potential vaccines.

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