Vaccinations against mpox, formerly known as monkeypox, will be extended in London after a recent spike in cases, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has confirmed.
The national vaccination programme will, however, still come to a close at the end of July while London’s will continue after 11 new cases were identified within the past few weeks.
Most of these were in those who had not been vaccinated, with three in people who had received one dose of the vaccine.
The UKHSA stated that the highest risk of mpox remains primarily in interconnected sexual networks of gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men.
“It is vital we respond to recent rises in cases, and that is why we are extending mpox vaccinations in London,” Professor Susan Hopkins, Chief Medical Adviser at UKHSA, said. “If you live in London or regularly travel there or abroad and have sex and are eligible for vaccination, please do consider it.”
She further explained that, although mpox infection “is mild for many,” it can result in “severe symptoms including unusual rashes and blisters, a fever and headache, so it’s important people remain alert to the risks.”
Case numbers remain low nationwide, with just 21 cases of mpox reported in the UK since the start of 2023.
Data from the UKHSA shows that one dose of the vaccine offers 78 per cent protection against the virus from 14 days after receiving it, while the second provides longer term protection.
You can find your nearest vaccination site here.