The Health Service Executive (HSE) has announced that all available monkeypox vaccine appointments have been fully booked for this month.
11 vaccination centres opened yesterday to facilitate the administration of vaccines to those who are at high risk, and all the appointments were fully booked out within hours. As there is a limited supply of the vaccine, they estimated that between 6,000 and 13,000 people are eligible for the first dose. People who get the first vaccine will need to get the second dose after 28 days.
Last week, the HSE has said that they plan on vaccinating all of the people that are most at risk by the end of this year. It is believed that anyone can get the monkeypox virus but currently those who are most at risk are gay and bisexual men who are sexually active. The HSE has also confirmed that people will not need to prove their sexuality or sexual history to be eligible for the vaccine. The criteria simply allow those concerned to self-assess their risk and decide if they would benefit from the jab.
The HSE has stated that the demand for the vaccine was high and that new appointment dates will be available next month.
According to the HSE, the chances of catching the monkeypox virus are low but it is important to be aware of the symptoms. Monkeypox spreads through close physical contact, including sexual contact and close contact with household members. To learn more about the first signs of monkeypox and how to protect yourself and others, you can read more on the HSE website.
If you believe you are experiencing symptoms of monkeypox it is best to contact your nearest STI clinic or GP and to self-isolate in order to not continue the spread of the virus.
For more information about the monkeypox vaccine and appointments, visit the MPOWER website.
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