There are 118 venues across France able to deliver the vaccine, including a large ‘vaccinedrome’ in the Paris regions.
French health authorities recommend vaccination for people in high-risk groups;
- Men who have sex with men who have multiple sexual partners
- Transgender people with multiple sexual partners
- Sex workers
- People who frequent locations where people go to find sex
- Healthcare workers who have been in contact with monkeypox patients
- People who have been in close contact with monkeypox patients eg family members or house-mates
As well as opening the vaccinedrome, the French government have also authorised medical students and retired doctors and nurses to administer the vaccine, as was the case during the Covid vaccination drive.
Health minister François Braun has called on patients who have lesions or other symptoms to self-isolate as soon as possible, and for people in high-risk groups to take up the offer of a vaccine.
“The profile (of the patients) is that they are mainly men who have had sexual relations with other men, but one can also be infected by contact with a patient’s blisters,” Braun said.
“France was one of the first countries to recommend and authorise preventive vaccination,” he told Franceinfo.
France has one of the highest vaccination rates in Europe and dozens of people have travelled from Belgium, Switzerland, Italy and Spain to access vaccines – health centre staff in border areas say they are generally happy to provide access to non-residents, provided it does not impact on supplies for French residents.
First detected in humans in 1970, monkeypox is less dangerous and contagious than the eradicated smallpox virus, which it resembles, and an existing smallpox vaccine is being used against it.