Although more people have been diagnosed with monkeypox recently, the number of people overall in the UK remains low and the risk of catching monkeypox is extremely low.
The infection is only transmitted easily by close and intimate contact, including skin to skin contact. Therefore, the vaccine is only being offered to those people who are likely to have very close or frequent contact with cases. By offering vaccine to these individuals, it is hoped that spread of the infection will be reduced, thus reducing the risk to the whole population.
The vaccine is not being offered to healthcare staff who work in non-specialist wards or clinics, even those in frontline services and Accident and Emergency. These staff are at very low risk of exposure – and they should take additional infection control precautions if they are asked to see any suspected cases.
The vaccine is also not being offered to GBMSM who have fewer partners, as this group have much lower chance of coming into close contact with a case than those with multiple partners.