Monkeypox vaccine

'Fractional dosing' to quintuple people protected against monkeypox

The NHS are set to trial giving patients smaller doses of the monkeypox vaccine in a bid to optimise the reach of supplies and protect more people from the virus.

The innovative method, referred to as ‘fractional dosing’, will entail administering a smaller, but equally effective, dose of the monkeypox vaccine to patients, in an approach that the Government say could quintuple the amount of people insulated against the virus.

Results from clinical trials indicated that the fractional dosing method provided an almost identical immune response in patients, and now, following suit of the US, the UK are set to pilot the strategy in three NHS sites.

Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at UKHSA, said: “Global supplies of the smallpox vaccine used to combat monkeypox are limited but we acted early to ensure the UK obtained the maximum number of doses available.

“Adopting this tried and tested technique will help to maximise the reach of our remaining stock, including the 100,000 doses due to arrive in the country next month, potentially enabling us to offer protection for many more thousands of people.

“We will continue to remain agile in our response to the monkeypox outbreak and will adapt our approach as new science and advice becomes available.”

Following approval from the European Medicines Agency Emergency Task Force, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) have now reviewed evidence of the fractional dosing method’s benefits.

As a result of their deliberations, the UKHSA and JCVI are now working alongside NHS England to give patients at Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust, Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust and Locala Health and Wellbeing in Greater Manchester a 0.1ml dose of the monkeypox vaccine rather the standard 0.5ml.

Professor Sir Andrew Pollard, Chair of the JCVI, said: “The use of fractional dosing will allow more people to be vaccinated sooner by optimising use of the constrained vaccine supply, and this approach is expected to reduce the spread of monkeypox.

“Dosing in this way has been successfully used in outbreaks of other viral diseases around the world and existing data we have reviewed indicates this should not compromise protection.”

As well as trialling the reduced dosing, the UKHSA have decided that, as a result of finite vaccine supplies, the post-exposure offer of vaccines should be limited to those who are at the most risk of serious illness – an approach that has been co-signed by the JCVI.

This will not change the terms of the pre-exposure offer of the vaccine, just that, once infected, vaccines will be reserved for people with immunosuppression, pregnant women and children under the age of 5.

More information on the trial is available here.

National Health Executive, Nov/Dec, Cover

NHE Nov/Dec 22

How active travel can help staff save money, improve wellbeing and help meet net zero targets

This issue highlights the latest topics within the health sector, from the NHS outlining its net zero strategy, Virtual hospitals, sustainable healthcare, How the NHS can achieve financial stability and more with articles featuring industry leaders such as Rory Deighton, Acute Network Director for NHS Confederation, Dr Tom Milligan, Clinical Lead for Diabetes in Humber and North Yorkshire, Misha Garcia, Value Programme Lead, NHS Property Services and many more.


View all videos
National Health Executive Presents

National Health Executive Presents

NHE365 Virtual Events

NHE has created a full calendar of events to address the most important issues that influence the delivery of healthcare services. Over 365 days you'll have the opportunity to hear from a range of highly motivating, informative and inspirational speakers. These speakers will equip you with the knowledge and unique insight to enable you to overcome the challenges that you face.

Finger on the Pulse

Ep 14. Health messaging is a science, Professor Craig Jackson

On Episode 14 of NHE's Finger on the Pulse podcast, we're joined by Professor Craig Jackson, Professor of Occupational Health Psychology
Birmingham City University to discuss the coronavirus pandemic, the health messaging around it and how those in power have missed a trick by overlooking the key role of psychology in informing the public of restrictions, measures and the ever-changing situation

More articles...

View all