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UK faces danger of running out of monkeypox vaccine by this month – FT

file photo: illustration shows test tubes labelled "monkeypox virus positive and negative
Photo by Reuters

Britain will run out of monkeypox vaccines in about two to three weeks as the country has little more than 8,300 doses of vaccine left, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.

Shipments of a new order of 100,000 doses will not resume until late September, the report added citing an internal National Health Service letter.

“The NHS has quickly stood up capacity to offer the monkeypox vaccine to those eligible in line with UKHSA’s guidance and while supply is currently severely limited, the NHS is expecting to receive more doses in the coming weeks,” an NHS spokesperson told Reuters in an emailed statement.

“The recent and sudden global outbreak of monkeypox has caused a huge upsurge in demand for these limited stocks around the world,” said Dr Mary Ramsay, director of Clinical Programmes at UKHSA.

Last week, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said that there were “early signs” that the monkeypox outbreak is plateauing across the country and its expansion has slowed. 

In June, the British authorities were recommending gay and bisexual men at higher risk of exposure to monkeypox should be offered a vaccine, as the outbreak of the viral disease gathers pace mostly in Europe. 

There were 2,768 confirmed cases as of August 4, including 2,639 in England, 67 in Scotland, 25 in Northern Ireland and 37 in Wales.

Last month World Health Organization declared monkeypox as a “public health emergency of international concern”, its highest alert level. The United States also declared it a public health emergency last week.

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