The current strain spreading amongst Gay and Bisexual men in Ireland is not thought to be life-threatening in most cases, however those infected with the virus may experience unpleasant and painful symptoms including fever, exhaustion, and painful lesions which can occur anywhere on the body.
Dr John Gilmore Assistant Professor in Nursing at UCD and ACT UP Dublin activist explains “we’ve seen over the past two years the importance of prompt vaccination in preventing further spread and negative impact of viruses; while monkeypox is very different to COVID-19 it does impact negatively on those who are infected with uncomfortable symptoms. When we know that there is an effective vaccine available, it is negligent not to provide it to those most at risk. An effective vaccination programme will not only help curtail the spread of the virus, but also ease the building anxiety amongst gay and bisexual men, who are the most effected.”
While the HSE has supported information campaigns co-ordinated through the MPOWER programme at HIV Ireland there has been no communication around any targeted rollout of vaccinations in Ireland.
Across the UK, North America and other European countries vaccination has been available for specific groups including Gay and Bisexual men who are at particular risk.
Earlier this week ACT UP Dublin wrote to the Minister for Health and the National Immunisation Advisory Committee for information on a vaccination rollout but are still awaiting a response.
ACT UP Dublin calls on the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly, the National Immunisation Advisory Committee and the HSE to take immediate action in making vaccines available to those at most risk.
About ACT UP Dublin
ACT UP Dublin is a local chapter of ACT UP, the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, an international HIV Activist organisation. Founded in July 2016 to take action on Ireland’s HIV crisis, we seek a more urgent and effective response to HIV from government, community organisations and the public at large.
HSE HPSC report on monkeypox available https://www.hpsc.ie/a-z/zoonotic/monkeypox/title-22106-en.html