Monkeypox cases in UK SKYROCKET as vaccines begin to run out

Monkeypox cases in UK SKYROCKET as vaccines begin to run out.

Monkeypox cases in UK SKYROCKET as vaccines begin to run out. Image: WHO

Warnings are being triggered that monkeypox could become an endemic as the UK look set to run out of monkeypox vaccines despite having one of the biggest numbers of cases worldwide.

It could then be a delay of almost a month before the next batch of supplies is due in late September according to the Guardian on Wednesday, August 10.

With just 8,300 doses in supply, fears have been prompted amongst doctors that the NHS will not have enough vaccines for those at risk, an internal NHS England letter has disclosed.

The president of the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH), Doctor Claire Dewsnap, said the letter accurately portrayed the looming unavailability of the vaccine, called Imvanex.

“By current estimates, only 8,300 vaccines remain available, with 5,000 earmarked for London, where demand has been the greatest, making it likely that the remaining number of vaccines will run out in approximately 10 to 20 days, leaving a gap in supply until the next shipment arrives in September.”

“Without urgent action to procure more vaccines and avoid a gap in supply, we risk the disease spreading further throughout the UK and becoming an endemic public health challenge,” Dewsnap said.

Although more people have been diagnosed with it recently, only a small number of people in the UK have had monkeypox and the risk remains low.

You’re extremely unlikely to have monkeypox if:

  • you have not been in close contact (such as touching their skin or sharing towels, clothes or bedding) with someone who has monkeypox or has monkeypox symptoms
  • you have not recently travelled to west or central Africa

Anyone can get monkeypox. Though currently, most cases have been in men who are gay, bisexual or have sex with other men, so it’s particularly important to be aware of the symptoms if you’re in these groups.

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Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.