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NHSE: No plans to make monkeypox vaccines available to pharmacies


NHSE: No plans to make monkeypox vaccines available to pharmacies

By Neil Trainis

Exclusive: NHS England has said there are no plans to make monkeypox vaccines available to community pharmacies as concerns about the spread of the disease persist.

According to the UK Health Security Agency, there were 2,914 confirmed and 103 “highly probable” monkeypox cases in the UK as of August 8. Of those 3,017 total cases, 2,883 are in England.

Although the latest data shows the growth of the outbreak is slowing, the UKHSA’s incident director Dr William Welfare said new cases were being uncovered every day. The majority of monkeypox cases in the UK have been found in gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men.

There have also been concerns that monkeypox vaccines in the UK will run out in as little as three weeks’ time. The Financial Times reported that no more shipments are expected until the end of September even though demand is outstripping supply.

According to an internal NHS letter seen by the newspaper, the country has 8,360 doses available nationally, 5,000 of which have been reserved for London.

Asked whether the health service planned to involve pharmacies in the rollout on the back of their success with the Covid vaccination programme, an NHSE spokesperson told Independent Community Pharmacist: “I don’t think there is anything planned for pharmacies so there is little else to add sadly.” 

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