Mpox (monkeypox) advice and vaccinations

How to protect yourself and partners from mpox, who can get a vaccine and where, and wellbeing support if you’re worried about mpox.

Mpox (previously known as monkeypox) is a rare infection most commonly found in west or central Africa. The overall risk to the UK population is low.

How can you could catch mpox

The NHS has information on how you get mpox.

The symptoms of mpox

The NHS has information on the symptoms of mpox.

What to do if you have symptoms of mpox

You should follow the NHS guidance on what to do for your mpox symptoms.

What you should do depends on your symptoms, the number of recent partners and whether you have recently travelled to central or west Africa. 

Call a sexual health clinic if you have a rash with blisters, anal pain or bleeding from your bottom and have either:

  • been in close contact, including sexual contact, with someone who has or might have mpox (even if they've not been tested yet) in the past 3 weeks
  • had 1 or more new sexual partners in the past 3 weeks
  • been to west or central Africa in the past 3 weeks

You should get advice from NHS 111 if you have a rash but:

  • you have not been in close contact with someone who has or might have mpox
  • you have not been to west or central Africa recently

What to do if you've been in contact with someone with mpox

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) will contact anyone they identify as a close contact of a mpox case. They'll send you health information and advice. View UKHSA guidance for contacts.

How to get vaccinated against mpox

The NHS is offering smallpox (MVA) vaccination to people who are most likely to be exposed to mpox. Anyone eligible for mpox vaccination is urged to come forward for the vaccine to protect themselves. In London, the mpox vaccination offer has been extended, so first and second doses continue to be available for gay, bisexual and men who have sex with men (GBMSM) at highest risk from mpox.

Vaccination is free for everyone who is at high risk of mpox exposure.

You can get a vaccine through NHS sexual health clinics and other pop-ups. To use these clinics you don’t need to:

  • be registered with a GP
  • have secure immigration status

Clinics can’t pass your information on to others without your permission, including the Home Office.

You can check the Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust information on the mpox vaccine clinics.

Or to book a vaccination anywhere in London use the mpox vaccination clinic finder provided by Sexual Health London.

If you're going to a sexual health clinic for your mpox vaccine, take the opportunity to get tested for other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) while you're there.

How to protect yourself and partners from infection

While getting vaccinated gives you protection against mpox, there are other things you can do to avoid getting and passing on mpox.

Get wellbeing support if you’re worried about mpox

Get information and support if you live in Southwark and are worried about your or someone else’s wellbeing. This includes one-to-one, peer and signposting support.

You can also contact the LGBTQ+ helpline Switchboard if you have concerns about mpox. It’s a safe space to discuss anything, including sexuality, gender identity, sexual health and emotional wellbeing. It includes a live web chat.

Get more information about mpox

NHS information about mpox
UKHSA mpox guidance
UKHSA information if you are isolating at home with mpox
Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Trust mpox vaccine information

Page last updated: 06 July 2023


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