Monkeypox vaccinations expanded
The UK Health Security Agency has announced today it recommends offering the smallpox vaccine Imvanex, which is shown to be effective against monkeypox, to those considered to be at higher risk of exposure.
Anyone can contract monkeypox, but data from the latest outbreak shows higher levels of transmission within – but not exclusive to – the sexual networks of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men.
According to the UKSHA website "The strategy is endorsed by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which was consulted on the eligibility criteria for the vaccine. An individual’s eligibility would depend on a number of factors but would be similar to the criteria used to assess those eligible for HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) – but applied regardless of HIV status.The strategy states that a clinician may advise vaccination for someone who, for example, has multiple partners, participates in group sex or attends ‘sex on premises’ venues."
NHS England is due to set out details on how eligible people can get vaccinated shortly. People are advised not to come forward for the vaccine until contacted.