In some bloody good news, the Australian Government has secured 450,000 doses of the monkeypox vaccine. Plus, the vaccines will start being distributed in NSW from Monday for those who are most vulnerable.

The first 22,000 of those doses were set to arrive this week. Currently, there are nearly 60 cases of the virus in Australia. Western Australia reported its first case on Thursday.

But luckily, vaccines should soon become available for those who are most at risk of contracting monkeypox. According to NSW Health, “doctors and community partners [will be] identifying people who are most at risk from monkeypox” when the vax first lands.

It said that “many people” won’t be eligible in the initial rollout and those most vulnerable to contracting monkeypox are being prioritised first. Which seems like a good idea.

Those who’ll be prioritised for the vax include sex workers, homeless men who have sex with men, and immunocompromised people as reported in the ABC.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, some men who have sex with men who are planning on travelling to monkeypox hotspots will also be prioritised for the vaccine.

Dr Kerry Chant said NSW Health was working with community partners, including ACON, an org which focuses on HIV prevention and support. It’ll also work with sexual health and infectious disease services.

It’s important to note that monkeypox isn’t a sexually transmitted disease. It is spread by skin-to-skin contact though, including sexy times.

As pointed out by Victoria Health, this specific outbreak has “disproportionately impacted” men who have sex with men — hence why they are being prioritised for the vaccine — but anyone can catch monkeypox.

“We urge people to look out for symptoms, especially those who have recently travelled overseas in UK, Europe and North America,” Dr Chant said, per The SMH

Next month, around 30,000 more doses will hit NSW which hopefully means more at-risk people will be eligible to get vaccinated.

We acknowledge not everyone in our communities who wants a vaccine will be able to access it initially,” said ACON’s acting CEO Karen Price in a statement.

“As supply improves in the coming months, vaccines will become more available. We are engaged in discussions and would ask people to continue to be patient as NSW Health and community organisations work through vaccine distribution.”

Similarly to NSW, Victoria will prioritise specific vulnerable groups for the vaccine.

Those include high-risk close contacts of monkeypox cases, lab workers who analyse monkeypox specimens, sex workers with high-risk clients and sexually active men who have sex with men who “fulfil additional criteria”.

The US has officially declared monkeypox a public health emergency. Currently around 6,600 people are infected — so we are deffo not at that stage.

But if you have monkeypox symptoms, make sure to give your ‘ol doctor a ring so you can get tested. You should then isolate until you have a negative result.

Image: Star Tribune via Getty Images