Guys’ and St Thomas’ Hospital canceled its walk-in monkeypox vaccination clinic over the weekend, as a sexual health campaigner slams the rollout.
Guys’ and St Thomas’ Hospital (GSTT) had previously scheduled walk-in clinics for the IMVANEX monkeypox vaccine for the weekends beginning July 30 and August 6.
But in a tweet at 1:30 p.m. yesterday (Friday August 5), GSTT announced, “Our monkeypox vaccination clinics at Guy’s Hospital are now by appointment only. We apologize to anyone planning to come to our walk-in clinic. If you have an appointment, please show up as usual.”
Greg Owen, founder of iwantPrEPnow, a sexual health organization, told the New he was ‘so angry’ at the UKHSA’s lack of communication and said the rollout of the vaccine had been a ‘chaotic chaotic mess’.
He said: ‘None of us can get information about what’s going on with ongoing purchases. We can’t get any information, it’s practically impossible.
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Last weekend (July 30-31), it was reported that the GSTT walk-in vaccination clinic ran out of vaccines at 11 a.m. on Sunday.
Greg Owen said: ‘I heard that on Sunday the clinic closed just as it was opening.
On Twitter, one user wrote: “My son stood in line yesterday (July 30) and today (July 31). Yesterday they were sold out at 4:20 p.m. and again today already sold out at 11:00 a.m.
The New asked GSTT to confirm if this is true. A The trust’s spokesperson simply said: “Due to the very limited supply of monkeypox vaccine, our vaccination clinics at Guy’s Hospital are now by appointment only and people should only attend if they have been contacted by us. “
“As per UKHSA guidelines, our teams are working very hard to deliver the vaccine prioritizing those who are eligible who have been contacted and made for appointments.”
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The decision to cancel this weekend’s walk-in clinic suggests a shift in vaccination strategy. While last weekend GSTT was running walk-in clinics, the GSTT website now links users to a gov.co.uk website which directs people to get their shots at their local clinic.
Greg said he knew people who were traveling from Manchester and Belfast to Guys, only to be told this afternoon that the clinic had been cancelled. He said his friend from Belfast had already spent £200 on flights.
The webpage also says the vaccine is being offered to those “most at risk right now.”
Although the walk-in clinics were advertised as being for “eligible” people only, it is unclear whether patients were checked to ensure they were high priority.
This raises questions about whether GSTT administered vaccines to people who were not eligible.
Greg thinks that’s a possibility. He said that at walk-in clinics you could get vaccinated just by saying you were eligible.
He said this is different from being invited, in which case people’s medical histories are checked and cross-checked to confirm they are high risk.
Case of monkeypox reported to Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital
According to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), those eligible for their first vaccine are healthcare workers working with monkeypox patients, men who have sex with men and people with confirmed contact. with a patient with monkeypox.
The New asked GSTT if clinic participants were screened for eligibility, but declined to comment.
The disruption comes amid widespread reports of a shortage of monkeypox vaccine, with the UKHSA saying it has a “limited supply”.
Neil Coyle, MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark, said: ‘Southwark must be protected from the spread of monkeypox, but ministers are too busy fooling around with their infighting to focus on the serious problem that is laid.
“More vaccines are urgently needed, but demand far outstrips supply at the moment. The NHS has shown that, when equipped, it is the best health service in the world. Unfortunately, Tory ministers do not haven’t learned anything from Covid and seem to be making the same mistakes with monkeypox.
So far there have been over 2,600 cases of monkeypox in the UK, mostly in men who have sex with men.
The Ministry of Health and Social Care claims to have purchased more than 150,000 vaccines.
UKHSA has been approached for comment.