British scientists are urging the government to introduce routine vaccines for those most at risk of monkeypox and gonorrhea, with a vaccination program for the latter a world first.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI) said it was advising Rishi Sunak that both programs should be offered opportunistically to those who need them most.
Professor Andrew Pollard, President of the JCVI, said the introduction of a vaccination England’s gonorrhea prevention program “would be a world first and is expected to make a significant contribution to reducing gonorrhea levels, which are currently at an all-time high”.
He added: “In addition, we advise implementing a targeted mpox routine (monkeypox) offer – to avoid a repeat of the great epidemic that we experienced at the beginning of 2022. Both vaccines should be offered to those most at risk.
The JCVI also said the recommended gonorrhea vaccination program should primarily target gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men, who have the highest rates of the disease.
It comes as sexually transmitted infection (STI) figures from the UK Health Security Agency show that in 2022 gonorrhea diagnoses increased by 50.3% compared to 2021, with 82,592 cases.
And in March it was reported the number of gonorrhea cases in the UK last year. increased by more than a fifth compared to pre-pandemic levels.
Greg Fell, president of the Association of Directors of Public Health, told Sky News: “The recent rise in sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhea is very concerning and today’s recommendation from the JCVI is undoubtedly a sensible course of action.
“The increase in numbers, however, is partly due to more people going to clinics and other diagnostic services to get tested and, because of this increase, the demand for sexual health services has never been higher. been as high.
“As we said in June, we are concerned that current levels of funding for sexual health services, which are provided in England by the Public Health Grant, cannot meet this increase in demand.
“Any new vaccination program should therefore be planned with this in mind and supported by adequate funding and resources so that people can receive vaccines in a timely and dignified manner, without undermining existing services.”