Monkeypox virus (MPV) is a rare infection most commonly found in West or Central Africa. There has recently been an increase in cases in the UK, including Dorset.

As you may be aware there is a vaccine to help protect patients at higher risk and will reduce the spread of MPV. This is the smallpox vaccine. Due to the increase in cases of MPV, the vaccine is in very high demand in the UK and in Dorset, we have only been allocated a few at a time.

Monkeypox Vaccine

We are hoping, that in time, everyone who may be at risk will be offered at least one vaccine. Currently, due to low supplies, sexual health services are having to assess the risk of their patients based on information known to them. This determines if people are at higher or lower risk and the offer of the vaccine will be based on this risk.

We understand this is a worrying time and no one wants to catch MPV. However, these risk assessments are based on need and priority must be given to those who have been assessed as being at higher risk.

Please be patient with our services and staff

Please be patient with our services and staff. We are working within criteria, governed by NHS England, the UK Health Security Agency and the British Association of Sexual Health and HIV. As soon as a vaccine is available to you, you will be notified, and you will be offered a vaccination appointment.

Please note, Sexual Health Dorset operates a ‘zero tolerance’ policy with regard to aggressive or abusive behaviour towards our staff. We will always do our best to assist, but if a patient behaves in a rude, offensive or intimidating manner, staff have the right to terminate the telephone call / appointment.

Many thanks for your understanding, Sexual Health Dorset.

Call us at Over The Rainbow

For more information or support call 0300 303 1948 first to speak to a sexual health adviser.

Further information

For further information please visit: Monkeypox – NHS (