posted by: Jonathan Shaw

At this time our Devon Sexual Health clinics are not able to offer vaccination against monkeypox. This is due to a lack of supply of vaccination to the service. Once we have an established reliable supply of vaccines we will immediately be offering vaccination to eligible patients.

Updates on access to monkeypox vaccination at our services will be posted here and on our social media profiles.

12.08.22 – UPDATE:

Today we have received an update from UKHSA about the vaccination programme. Key paragraphs are posted below. As we currently have no available vaccine stock in our service we expect we will not receive further vaccination supplies now until late September 2022. We will update further once more is known:

The UKHSA launched its vaccine strategy in June 2022, which aims to contain the current outbreak by offering protection to those who are at higher risk of getting monkeypox. This includes some Gay and Bisexual and other Men who have sex with Men (GBMSM) as well as healthcare workers in specific settings such as HCID centres and sexual health services. The first dose of vaccine is being prioritised to maximise the public health benefit from available supplies. Post exposure vaccination with a single dose of the MVA-BN smallpox vaccine is also recommended for close contacts.

UKHSA has secured one of the highest number of doses in the world, procuring 150,000 doses for the UK from the global manufacturer of smallpox vaccines. The initial delivery of around 50,000 doses – the maximum amount immediately available – has been rolled out at pace to provide as much protection to as many eligible people as possible. Due to vaccine availability and the necessary time to produce more vaccines, the further batch of 100,000 doses, which are being made to order, will be received later in September. UKHSA is working with the manufacturer to expedite delivery as soon as possible.

A systematic process was undertaken by UKHSA to support the initial vaccine deployment at each sexual health clinic in England. Initial pump-prime supply volumes to each vaccine site were based on a proportion of the total number of GBMSM meeting proxy measures of behavioural risk of STIs and HIV, who attended that clinic in 2021.

Given that transmission has been predominantly in London and that approximately 60% of eligible individuals reside in London, supplies were front loaded to London with clinics allowed to order additional stock at a higher rate.

Given the current usage, it is anticipated that all central supplies will have been distributed to service providers by the middle of August, with the NHS expecting that all available vaccine will be given to individuals at higher risk by the end of August. Additional stock of 100,000 doses is expected to arrive in late September and UKHSA is working with the manufacturer to expedite delivery.

Until the delivery of further doses in September, there will be no new supply to the NHS.

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Accessing our service

In response to the emergence of COVID-19 we have implemented a telephone triage system for all of our clinics. Our central telephone number is 0300 303 3989.

We are currently experiencing high demand for our Sexual Health Services across Devon and Torbay with unprecedented demand in Exeter. Please note always review urgent cases the same day. If your need is urgent and you are struggling to reach us keep trying as our phone system will explain how to access same-day care with us.

We have updated information on the provision of routine contraception here.

Self-requested STI testing by post is available for those aged under 25- more info

We are now running an under 18’s sit and wait clinic at Exeter, Torquay, and Barnstaple for more information click here

If you are struggling to access sexual health services, alternatives may be available:

  • Emergency Contraception - from a local pharmacy - more info
  • Contraceptive pills and LARC procedures - obtained from your GP
  • HIV PEPSE - available via A+E departments - more info
  • Condoms by post (for gay and bisexual men only) - more info