Monkeypox vaccine booking portal to reopen in Ireland

Approximately 5,000 first-dose appointments for the monkeypox vaccine will be available to book through the HSE's online portal.

Arm of a person getting a vaccine. The portal to book appointments for monkeypox vaccine in Ireland will re-open tomorrow.
Image: Via Pexels - FRANK MERIÑO

The HSE portal that allows people in Ireland to book an appointment for monkeypox vaccine will reopen tomorrow, November 24, at 10am. According to the latest report published by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC), there are currently 214 confirmed cases of monkeypox in Ireland.

When the portal reopens, there will be availability for approximately 5,000 first-dose appointments in vaccination centres across all Ireland. People will be able to book appointments through the portal to get their first dose of the monkeypox vaccine from November 28 until the end of February 2023.

Once someone accesses the portal, they will be asked a series of questions to self-assess their risk of contracting monkeypox and establish whether they are eligible to get one of the vaccine doses. At present, the HSE invites gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men and transgender people to book an appointment, as they are considered the groups most at risk of contracting the virus.

Other people who are considered at high risk are those that have:

  • been diagnosed with a bacterial STI (sexually transmitted infection) in the past 6 months (for example gonorrhoea, syphilis or chlamydia)
  • been diagnosed with genital herpes for the first time in the past six months
  • had three or more sexual partners in the past three months
  • had group sex in the past six months
  • had sex in a sex-on-premises venue in the past six months (this can include a sauna, dark room or sex club).

According to current guidelines, it is not considered necessary for people who contracted a monkeypox infection in the past to get the vaccine. People who have already received their first dose of the vaccine can book the second one online, but must wait four weeks since the first dose and inform the vaccinator that they are getting the second one.

The questions asked through the portal do not relate to a person’s sexual practices or sexual history and at no point will the HSE ask those who book an appointment to confirm or prove that they meet the at-risk criteria. The portal will ask for a PPS number, however, this is optional as the monkeypox vaccine is available to everyone regardless of immigration status.

You can access the HSE’s portal to book your monkeypox vaccine here.

For more information on vaccination and the current situation regarding the outbreak of monkeypox in Ireland, watch the virtual community discussion hosted by MPOWER, Man2Man and GCN below, or visit MPOWER’s dedicated webpage.

© 2022 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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