Yesterday, the Biden administration declared monkeypox a national public health emergency. Another virus, another federal state of emergency and another reason to pay way more attention to vaccines than I ever thought I’d need to. Thankfully, monkeypox isn’t nearly as contagious or as deadly as COVID-19. But there is another important difference between the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic and where the U.S. is today with regard to monkeypox: There are already two vaccines approved for use against the virus.

Maureen Ferran is a virologist and infectious disease researcher at the Rochester Institute of Technology. She has been one of The Conversation’s go-to experts on coronavirus vaccines, so when it became clear that vaccination was going to be an important part of the monkeypox story, I could think of no one better to explain how these vaccines work, how protective they are and what is happening with the supply.

Also today:

Daniel Merino

Associate Breaking News Editor and Co-Host of The Conversation Weekly Podcast

The Jynneos monkeypox vaccine provides strong protection against infection but is in short supply. Mario Tama/Getty Images

Monkeypox vaccines: A virologist answers 6 questions about how they work, who can get them and how well they prevent infection

Maureen Ferran, Rochester Institute of Technology

There are two approved monkeypox vaccines in the US. Both use a related poxvirus called vaccinia to produce an immune response that protects against smallpox and monkeypox.

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The Conversation Quiz 🧠

    In 1996, when Gallup first polled about same-sex marriage, what percentage of people supported its legalization?

    1. A. 5%
    2. B. 12%
    3. C. 27%
    4. D. 40%
    Click here for the answer.