People urged to come forward for mpox vaccine

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has urged those eligible for an mpox vaccine to come forward.

According to the UKHSA, case numbers have come down, and vaccination is helping to control the outbreak. Therefore the vaccination programme is no longer needed as an outbreak control measure and will be wound down.

First doses will remain available for gay, bisexual and men who have sex with men (GBMSM) at highest risk from mpox until 16 June and second doses will be available until the end of July.  

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) will continue to monitor case numbers and will have the ability to stand up the vaccination programme if the risk of infection rises significantly.

Mpox cases have fallen across the UK from a high of 350 per week in July 2022 to six new cases so far from the start of 2023. Three people acquired mpox in the UK and three were returning travellers.

Dr Gayatri Amirthalingam, Deputy Director, Public Health Programmes at UKHSA, said: "While mpox infection is mild for many, it can cause severe symptoms for some so it’s important people remain alert to the risks. Vaccination is key to reducing the severity of symptoms and preventing further transmission. Uptake of first doses has been strong but only around a third of those who have received their first dose have had their second dose so far.

"I would urge everyone that’s eligible to come forward for both doses so they have maximum long lasting protection.

"I’d like to thank the NHS, public health professionals and third sector organisations, in particular their frontline staff, who sprang into action and worked hard to bring down mpox cases significantly. UKHSA will monitor cases of mpox very closely and will re-establish the vaccination programme if we need to."

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