Doctors Press Government to ‘Vaccinate Faster’ as Monkeypox Spreads Across UK

Vaccination clinics were set up by Toronto Public Health at several locations including bathhouses. (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Doctors are pressing the British government, still led by Boris Johnson until September, to “vaccinate faster” against monkeypox, as cases are recorded in every region of the United Kingdom.

2,800 monkeypox cases have now been confirmed in Britain, according to The Mail on Sunday, with around two-thirds concentrated in London, but the proportion of diagnoses outside Britain’s super-diverse capital is increasing.

Medics have been administering a smallpox vaccine, believed to be effective against monkeypox due to the diseases’ similarity, to “people who are most at risk” of contraction — healthcare workers likely to be exposed to monkeypox patients, people known to have had “close contact” with the infected, and “gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men”, or “GBMSM”, believed to be “at highest risk of exposure”.

The UK Health Security Agency says these would be people who “have multiple partners, participate in group sex or attend ‘sex on premises’ venues.”

However, while insiders have told the MoS that around 200,000 doses of smallpox vaccine would be needed to blunt the spread of monkeypox, only around 30,000 were believed to be on hand last month, with another 100,000 purchases subsequently but shipments taking time to reach doctors.

“The majority of London clinics are running out of vaccines on a daily basis and are desperately trying to work with what little they have,’ complained Dr John McSorley of the London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust, blaming the situation on “inaction from the Government.”

“Clinics are essentially running like budget airlines – overbooking patients for jabs they don’t have in the hope they’ll have enough on the day,” he said, adding that it was important to “get ahead of this disease while we still have the chance, and the way to do that is to vaccinate faster.”

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