The supply of the monkeypox (mpox) vaccine has touched down in Aotearoa and people can contact Healthline to discuss their eligibility. 

The vaccine will be free and available to gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM) who have multiple sexual partners, trans and non-binary people who have sex with MSM, and anyone who is a close contact of someone who has been infected with mpox.

People at risk of mpox can contact Healthline on 0800 116 672 between 8am - 8pm, where eligible people may be offered a free consultation at a dedicated clinic near them. During this consultation, the option of receiving the vaccine on the spot will be discussed.

Consultations start Monday 16 January 2023.

“We strongly urge our communities to contact Healthline today to book a consultation around the best way for them to protect themselves against mpox with this new tool now in Aotearoa.” says Joe Rich, Burnett Foundation Aotearoa Chief Executive.

Advertising the availability of the vaccine is prohibited by section 20 of the Medicines Act 1981, as it is not yet approved by Medsafe. However, section 29 allows the vaccine to be prescribed.

Joe Rich says “Unfortunately, we’re not allowed to tell our communities to go and get their first dose of the vaccine today – even though people can in fact book a consultation now and possibly have the vaccine administered during that consultation.

"We’re looking forward to provisional approval of the vaccine, following which we’ll be able to sing from the rooftops that the vaccine is here and is ready for people.”

The World Health Organisation has recommended pre-exposure vaccination for groups at high risk of exposure to mpox in the current outbreak and is being utilised worldwide for protection against mpox.

The vaccine requires two doses, and these are administered at least 28 days apart. The highest level of protection is expected to be reached 14 days after the second dose.

Burnett Foundation Aotearoa will share any new information as it is made available to us.

Section 20 of the Medicines Act 1981 prevents people from advertising the availability of a medicine that is not yet approved by Medsafe in NZ. By releasing this news update, the Burnett Foundation is not advertising the vaccine but ensuring accurate, factual reporting of developments regarding the mpox vaccine.