UK to offer mini dose of monkeypox jab amid low stocks
Due to a shortage of vaccination around the world, a pilot programme at three NHS facilities will soon start giving eligible patients lower doses of the monkeypox vaccine.
According to experts, the smaller doses are still just as effective and will safeguard more people.
In addition to the UK, the US and the EU have also approved the fractional dosage method.
Since the outbreak’s start in May, more than 3,000 people in the UK have received a diagnosis of monkeypox.
The virus has mostly affected gay and bisexual men.
However, the virus could potentially spread to anyone who has intimate contact with a person who has monkeypox.
A vaccine can aid in preventing new instances. According to UK officials, some of the individuals who were most at risk of catching the virus received more than 33,000 regular doses of shots.
However, a large number of people who could benefit from vaccinations have not yet received them, and vaccine supplies are running low.
According to the UK Health Security Agency, the fractional dosage could increase the number of doses that can now be provided without sacrificing protection (UKHSA).
The lower dose alternative will soon be made available to patients at clinics run by the Chelsea and Westminster NHS Trust, Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, and Locala Health and Wellbeing in Greater Manchester.
Studies show that even if the dose is only 0.1 mL in volume rather than 0.5 mL as in the standard one, it still provides enough protection.
Adopting this tried-and-true method will help to maximise the reach of our remaining stock, including the 100,000 doses due to arrive in the country next month, said Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunization at UKHSA. “We may be able to provide protection for many more tens of thousands of people.”
The British Association for Sexual Health & HIV’s president, Dr Claire Dewnap, said: “The fractional dosing pilots being run by the UKHSA and determining their viability in UK sexual health clinics have our full support. If accepted, this would allow us to distribute vaccines to individuals who qualify much more quickly and would alleviate the global shortage of vaccines. “