Monkeypox: Vaccine supply limited until September, health leader warns

Vaccines to protect those at risk from monkeypox will not be widely available until September, a Yorkshire sexual health leader has warned.

The smallpox vaccine is being rolled out to those most at risk of the disease, which began spreading earlier this year.

The vast majority of people who have contracted monkeypox are men who have sex with men.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Sexual health clinics are being advised to contact patients most at risk of contracting the disease while supplies remain limited.

Monkeypox: Vaccine supply limited until September, health leader warns

Tom Doyle, the chief executive of Yorkshire MESMAC, a sexual health organisation, said: “One of the issues is that the stock of the vaccination is really small.

“The Government have ordered more and it’s getting better and by September we’re expecting it to be okay.

“But that’s quite a while to wait so in the meantime sexual health clinics are inviting in those most at risk after looking at their records.”

Mr Doyle said risk factors could be based on if someone had previously had a history of infections, was known to have had multiple sexual partners or was on the list for PREP, the preventative drug for HIV transmission.

He said: “It’s a great first step that the Government have ordered an extra 100,000 vaccines but we think we need to double that now, based on modelling from the National Aids Trust.

“Particularly in Leeds, we’re working really closely together and have been identifying people who are most at risk.”

Monkeypox awareness and help services will also take place at Leeds Pride in August, Mr Doyle confirmed.

As of July 18, there were 2,137 confirmed cases in the UK, with 2,050 in England and the majority in London.

As of latest figures, just 35 cases have been reported across Yorkshire and the Humber.

Symptoms of the infection include a temperature, headaches and a rash similar to the appearance of chickenpox.