First phase of monkeypox vaccination to reach 600 of the 6,000 high-risk patients

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Men who contracted syphilis between last December and last month will be prioritized for the vaccine to reduce their risk of catching the monkeypox virus, the HSE said yesterday.

Although 6,000 people in Ireland may be at “increased risk” of monkeypox infection, the vaccine will only be offered to 600 in the “first phase” of rollout due to limited supplies, the HSE said.

It said some people at higher risk of contracting monkeypox would be offered a vaccine against the disease “in the next few weeks.”

The HSE said that given the current limited vaccine supply and after detailed clinical discussions, they are recommending the vaccine for gay and bisexual men, men who have sex with men and transgender people who had early-onset syphilis between December 2021 and July 2022. would prioritize.

The National Immunization Advisory Committee said vulnerable people should be vaccinated before they could be exposed to the virus, but stocks of vaccines to curb transmission are limited.

So far this year, a total of 113 confirmed cases of monkeypox have been diagnosed here.

“The HSE estimates that around 6,000 people may be at increased risk of monkeypox infection. Current vaccine stocks will allow vaccination of about 10 percent of these individuals in the first phase of vaccine rollout,” it said.

She added that based on current indications regarding the global vaccine supply, “the second phase of vaccine roll-out in Ireland is likely to start later this year and into next year”.

To date, the HSE has offered vaccines to those who have close contacts with cases of monkeypox following a public health assessment, and these people have been contacted and invited to be vaccinated.

People who have syphilis are prioritized because the mode of spread of syphilis is similar to that of monkeypox and syphilis also disproportionately affects gay and bisexual men and men who have sex with men (gbMSM) compared to other sexually transmitted diseases, said .

HIV Ireland Executive Director Stephen O’Hare said: “As the crisis deepens, it will be imperative that additional vaccines are sourced as soon as possible and that more resources are made available within sexual health services to deal with them identify and contact those most at risk to offer them a vaccine as soon as possible.”

HIV Ireland’s Adam Shanley said: “We welcome the planned launch of vaccines, but due to limited supply, vaccines will reach less than 10 per cent of what Niac says is most needed and will fall well short of what is needed to contain this outbreak bring about an end.

“The longer our community has to wait for vaccination, the more cases will increase and the fear among gbMSM will increase. We know many gay and bisexual men are concerned about monkeypox and the slow rollout of a vaccine.”

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/health/first-phase-of-monkeypox-jab-to-reach-600-of-the-6000-at-high-risk-41919409.html First phase of monkeypox vaccination to reach 600 of the 6,000 high-risk patients

Fry Electronics Team

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