The NHS will provide the Monkeypox vaccine to anyone who is eligible, so please wait until you are offered a vaccine by the appropriate team. You do not need to do anything, they will contact you.
Eligibility for Vaccination:
- The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) currently recommends that MVA is offered to:
healthcare workers who are caring for and who are due to start caring for a patient with confirmed monkeypox (2 doses are normally required). This includes some staff in sexual health clinics who are assessing any suspected cases.
- Gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM) at highest risk of exposure. Your doctor or nurse will advise vaccination for you if they consider you are at high risk – for example if you have multiple partners, participate in group sex or attend ‘sex on premises’ venues. Staff who work in such premises may also be eligible.
- People who have already had close contact with a patient with confirmed monkeypox. Because of the limited supply, only one dose of vaccine will be offered now to as many eligible people as possible. It is important to come forward for your first dose as soon as you are invited. If the outbreak continues a second dose may be advised later by your doctor to those at on-going risk.
Where you can get your vaccination:
The MVA vaccine is being offered in some specialist sexual health clinics.
Visit NHS.UK if you need to find a local clinic.
The MVA vaccination is only available through the NHS to eligible groups and it is a free vaccination.
How you get Monkeypox:
Monkeypox can be passed on from person to person through:
- any close physical contact with monkeypox blisters or scabs (including during sexual contact, kissing, cuddling or holding hands)
- touching clothing, bedding or towels used by someone with monkeypox
- the coughs or sneezes of a person with monkeypox when they’re close to you
Symptoms of Monkeypox:
If you get infected with monkeypox, it usually takes between 5 and 21 days for the first symptoms to appear.
The first symptoms of monkeypox include:
- a high temperature
- a headache
- muscle aches
- swollen glands
- shivering (chills)
A rash usually appears 1 to 5 days after the first symptoms. The rash often begins on the face, then spreads to other parts of the body. This can include the genitals and anus.
The rash is sometimes confused with chickenpox. It starts as raised spots, which turn into small blisters filled with fluid. These blisters eventually form scabs which later fall off.
The symptoms usually clear up in a few weeks. While you have symptoms, you can pass monkeypox on to other people.
Who to contact:
CALL A SEXUAL HEALTH CLINIC IF:
You have a rash with blisters and have either:
- been in close contact, including sexual contact, with someone who has or might have monkeypox (even if they’ve not been tested yet) in the past 3 weeks
- been to west or central Africa in the past 3 weeks
Stay at home and avoid close contact with other people, including sharing towels or bedding, until you’ve been told what to do.
Call the clinic before visiting.
Tell the person you speak to if you’ve had close contact with someone who has or might have monkeypox, or if you’ve recently travelled to central or west Africa.
Information: Stay at home and call 111 for advice if you’re not able to contact a sexual health clinic.