Updated 19 June 2023

UPDATE: **The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) announced on Friday 16 June that vaccines will continue to be given in London, due to a rise in mpox cases. The mpox vaccination programme was originally due to end in July 2023. Call your clinic to book a vaccination.**

Update: Following a series of consultations with global experts, WHO will begin using a new preferred term “mpox” as a synonym for monkeypox. Both names will be used simultaneously for one year while “monkeypox” is phased out. - 28/11/2022

Is there a mpox (monkeypox) vaccine? 

Yes. There is a smallpox vaccine called Imvanex which is being used as a vaccine for mpox (monkeypox). This is because it’s a similar virus to smallpox. The vaccine reduces the likelihood of symptomatic infection and severe symptoms. 

Who should get the vaccine? 

Anyone who could be in close contact to mpox. Men who have sex with men (MSM) are being prioritised for the vaccine at the moment as it’s spreading faster in the gay and bisexual community.  

How is the vaccine given? 

The mpox (monkeypox) vaccine is usually administered at the top of your arm with a shallow injection. Due to the availability of the vaccine, only one dose is being administered at this time, however it is thought a top up dose will be offered as the vaccine becomes more available.  

Fractional dosing using intradermal vaccination is currently being trailed to maximise the current supply. This method uses 1/5 of the dose and uses a smaller needle and syringe. The injection should produce a small blister known as a ‘bleb’ that disappears within a minute. 

It is thought that this method offers the same level of protection overall. A study in 2015 compared different doses and methods of giving the smallpox vaccine. After the second dose, the peak antibody levels were similar and overall response rates were around 95% in both groups. This is why the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation says that the intradermal vaccination is considered equivalent to the standard method. (source: Terrence Higgins Trust) 

Vaccine availability  

The second stage of the mpox (monkeypox) vaccine rollout began at the end of September.
Sexual health London (SHL) now has a directory where you can find your nearest vaccine availability in London: https://mpx.shl.uk
We will update you with more information as we get it and you can find up-to-date vaccine guidance on the GOV.UK website.
Check out our What You Need to Know page for information about the first stage of the vaccine roll out and if you live outside the UK.

READ MORE ABOUT:  mpox (monkeypox) transmission

READ MORE ABOUT: mpox (monkeypox) symptoms

READ MORE ABOUT: staying sex-positive during mpox (monkeypox)

FURTHER READING: Visit Love Tank's Queer Health hub for advice, guides, help and information about mpox