Wake County Public Health to Begin Administering Monkeypox Vaccine by Intradermal Injection

Following approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Wake County Public Health will begin administering the monkeypox vaccine by intradermal injection in our clinics beginning today, August 22.

Administering the vaccine in this way will increase supply available for use by up to five-fold. The intradermal injection is equally as effective as the subcutaneous injection, which is the way the shot has been administered to this point. People who received the first shot subcutaneously may receive the second shot intradermally.

“This method of administering the monkeypox vaccine is going to be able to significantly expand the vaccines available, meaning we can offer a lot more protection even faster to our residents who need it,” said Sig Hutchinson, chair of the Wake County Board of Commissioners. “We’re excited that our supply of doses will now stretch even further.”

To date, Wake County Public Health as administered 1,035 doses of the vaccine.

What is an Intradermal Vaccine?
Most routine vaccines are given intramuscularly or subcutaneously, or into the muscle layer below the skin and fat. Intradermal injections deliver vaccine or medication to the dermis – the topmost layer of the skin. This type of injection is commonly used to test for tuberculosis and allergies.

These shots are much shallower than normal vaccine shots. The patient’s skin is held taut, and the needle is inserted into the dermis at an angle ranging from 5 to 15 degrees. Most patients report feeling a slight pinch. There is normally a small welt on the skin that will disappear within days.

According to the FDA, side effects were similar in both people who received subcutaneous vaccination and those who were vaccinated intradermally, and none of the reported side effects were severe.

How to Request a Vaccine Appointment
Vaccines are available in limited supply, at no cost, for individuals with known or suspected exposure to monkeypox. This includes:

  • People who have been in close physical contact with someone diagnosed with monkeypox in the last 14 days (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis or PEP)
  • Men who have sex with men, or transgender individuals, who report any of the following in the last 90 days:
    • Having multiple or anonymous sex partners
    • Being diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection
    • Receiving HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)

Wake County Public Health has a limited supply of monkeypox vaccine. Residents who have been exposed to someone who has had monkeypox, or who feel they are eligible to receive the vaccine can:

  • Visit wakegov.com/monkeypox and fill out the online self-attestation form; or
  • Call our monkeypox call center at 919-212-9398, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.

Staying Updated
Visit Wake County’s multilingual monkeypox webpage for the latest updates on the county’s response to the virus. It features important vaccination, testing and resource information.

Also, look for important updates about COVID-19 on Wake County’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

Press Release