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expert reaction to latest update from UKHSA on monkeypox cases and new vaccination strategy

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) have announced that the smallpox vaccine (Imvanex) is to be offered more widely to help control monkeypox outbreak.


Prof Paul Hunter, Professor in Medicine, The Norwich School of Medicine, University of East Anglia, said:

“In most point source outbreaks (outbreaks associated with a particular event) with secondary person to person spread you see the second wave generally being lower than the first. However, what we have seen with Monkeypox is a significant and continuing increase of the second wave despite control measures having been in place for a few weeks.  So, it is certainly looking like the current strategy of ring vaccination is not working. This is probably down to difficulties in identifying cases and their contacts rapidly enough, possibly due to stigma.

“The report today about offering vaccine to MSM at high risk of exposure is the right thing to do. I would just add that monkeypox is spreading because of frequent multiple close and intimate contacts. Even though we are not seeing much spread outside of MSM, Monkeypox doesn’t care whether those contacts are same sex or mixed sex and so I think we should be ready to start offering the vaccine to female sex workers as well.”



Monkeypox outbreak: epidemiological overview, 21 June 2022

Vaccine to be offered more widely to help control monkeypox outbreak



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