Figures published today show there have been 67 laboratory-confirmed cases of monkeypox reported in Scotland since 23 May 2022. This includes an additional two cases since our last report on 2 August 2022.
Anyone can get monkeypox, however, currently most cases in Scotland are in men who are gay, bisexual or have sex with men, and are primarily associated with recent travel to London or Europe.
The individuals are receiving care and treatment appropriate to their condition in line with nationally agreed protocols and guidance. Close contacts of the cases are being identified and provided with health information, advice and, where appropriate, vaccination.
The wider pre-exposure programme has started in some areas of Scotland, with vaccination being offered to some gay and bisexual men at higher risk of exposure and a small number of healthcare workers who work in high-risk settings.
The vaccine is being procured by UKHSA on behalf of the UK and then allocated to areas where it can be deployed most effectively to limit the transmission of virus. Due to global demand for the vaccine and limitations on the number that can be manufactured, there is limited supply. As a result, geographical areas which have a high proportion of individuals who are eligible for vaccination are being prioritised.
Thus far, 3000 vaccine pre-exposure doses have been apportioned to Scotland and these have been allocated to Health Boards across the country, who are responsible for identifying and offering vaccination to eligible individuals.
Dr Nick Phin, Director of Public Health Science and Medical Director at Public Health Scotland, said:
“With monkeypox cases increasing globally, there is increased demand for the smallpox vaccine that is used for the programme, yet there is a limited supply. We are working closely with colleagues across the UK to ensure that the further vaccinations are acquired and are offered to those at highest risk first. As more supplies become available, more people will be offered a first dose.
“Health Boards are currently identifying eligible individuals for vaccination through sexual health services, who are contacting people proactively, as well as inviting those who meet the criteria who present at their usual appointments.
“If you are currently unvaccinated, please ensure you take additional precautions, are aware of the signs and symptoms, and seek medical advice if you think you may have the infection.”
PHS continues to work with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), Public Health Wales and Northern Ireland HSC Health Protection Agency to monitor and respond to potential and confirmed cases of monkeypox in the UK.
Any additional cases of monkeypox will be updated on the PHS monkeypox webpage.