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UK to offer mini dose of monkeypox jab amid low stocks

Published on 23/08/22 at 09:44am

Three NHS sites will begin a pilot offering eligible patients smaller doses of monkeypox vaccine, following global shortages of the jab, according to the BBC.

Health experts say that these reduced shots have the same efficacy, and will ensure that more of the population is protected against the disease.

Over 3,000 people have been diagnosed with monkeypox in the UK since the initial outbreak in May, and most of these cases have been among gay and bisexual men. However, anybody who comes into close contact with someone with monkeypox could contract the virus.

Over 33,000 regular dose shots have been administered to some of those at the greatest risk of contracting the virus. However, many more have not yet been immunised, while vaccine stocks are running low.

The UKHSA says that fractional dosing could maximise the number of doses that can be given currently, without compromising protection.

Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at UKHSA, said: "Adopting this tried-and-tested technique will help to maximise the reach of our remaining stock, including the 100,000 doses due to arrive in the country next month - potentially enabling us to offer protection for many more thousands of people.

"We will continue to remain agile in our response to the monkeypox outbreak and will adapt our approach as new science and advice becomes available."

Dr Claire Dewsnap, President of the British Association for Sexual Health & HIV, said: "We absolutely support the UKHSA-led fractional dosing pilots assessing feasibility in UK sexual health clinics. If acceptable, this would offer us the opportunity to roll out vaccine to those eligible much faster, and would address the issues of short supply of vaccine across the world."

Lina Adams

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