A further 100,000 doses of the vaccine have been ordered by the government, with the first 20,000 to be delivered for use by the NHS in August.
Existing stocks of the vaccine are to be moved to London, where the vast majority of UK cases have been reported – 2,137 in total.
Thousands of eligible people will be contacted in the coming days and weeks with information about getting the vaccine, the NHS said.
According to the UK Health Safety Agency (UKHSA), although anyone can get monkeypox, the virus is most common among gay or bisexual men or men who have sex with men.
At-risk individuals in this group who are vaccinated include individuals with a recent history of multiple partners and those who participate in group sex. This criterion was established by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization.
Thousands of people have already received the Imvanex vaccine, which is commonly used against smallpox, a viral relative of monkeys.
However, there is no indication yet that the monkey epidemic in the UK is abating. Sexual health charities recently warned that the infection could become “endemic unless urgent measures are taken”.
The fact of death from monkey pox has not been recorded so far. The NHS said that “almost all the cases we have seen so far” recovered quickly. According to the UKHSA, the overall risk to the public from infection is low.
Steve Russell, director of NHS vaccinations, said officials would “leave no stone unturned to ensure that everyone who is eligible is protected”.
He added: “We will be inviting anyone who we believe is a priority to be vaccinated and local teams will be working to make sure that those who meet the criteria set by the UKHSA know how they can get them.
“We ask people to wait to be contacted and come out as soon as possible when they are invited to be vaccinated.”
The number of clinics in England offering pre-exposure vaccination will increase rapidly over the next few weeks, the NHS said.
In London, more than 18 clinics offer the vaccination, including Dean Street Sexual Health Clinic in Soho, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, Guy’s Hospital in Southwark, Mortimer Market Center in Camden and Barking Hospital Outpatient Center in the East.
Dr Mary Ramsey, UKHSA’s head of immunization, said: “Vaccination will further strengthen our response, so we would urge all those who are eligible to get the vaccine when offered.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “It is encouraging that the monkey vaccine is being rolled out so quickly in our capital.
“With London seeing the highest rate of infection in the country, it is important that NHS London is able to prioritize vaccinating those most at risk.”
Monkey pox can spread from person to person by touching clothing, bedding, or towels used by people with monkeypox, by touching blisters or sores on the skin of monkeypox, or by coughing or sneezing from someone with monkeypox, including during sex.
Common symptoms of monkeypox infection include fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, and the development of a new rash.
The distribution of monkeypox vaccine in London has increased as the virus continues to spread
Source link The distribution of monkeypox vaccine in London has increased as the virus continues to spread