Sep 15, 2022 - Health

Monkeypox awareness surged over the summer

Illustration of a US map with scattered dots.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The public has quickly become familiar with monkeypox and how it spreads, but more than a quarter of Americans say they’re not likely to get vaccinated if exposed to the virus, according to a new Annenberg Public Policy Center survey.

Why it matters: At a time when polls suggest crisis-weary Americans are tuning out public health messaging, the findings suggest the public is still able to lock in on information about a new health threat, said the center's director, Kathleen Hall Jamieson.

Findings: 61% of those surveyed know that a monkeypox vaccine exists, up from 34% in July. And the vast majority are aware monkeypox usually spreads through close contact with an infected person.

  • Nearly two-thirds (63%) know that men who have sex with men are at a higher risk of infection, up from 33% in July.

1 in 5 Americans worry about getting monkeypox over the next three months, which is roughly the same as in July.

  • Only 41% know that monkeypox is less contagious than COVID-19.
  • The survey of 1,621 U.S. adults surveyed was conducted Aug. 16–22 and has a margin of error of ± 3.3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.
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