News5 things everyone should know about the monkeypox vaccine

5 things everyone should know about the monkeypox vaccine

Monkeypox has become another serious concern for health agencies around the world. The World Health Organization activated its highest level of alert on Saturday, July 23, to try to contain the outbreak of monkeypox.

Monkeypox is a virus that usually causes mild symptoms including fever, aches and pus-filled skin lesions, and recovers in two to four weeks.

First identified in monkeys, it is mainly transmitted by direct contact and is endemic in Africa.

Following the first reports of cases in Europe in May, cases have since skyrocketed to more than 16,000 in 75 countries. Five deaths have been recorded so far, all in Africa.

There is a vaccine developed by a Danish laboratory that is recommended to prevent this disease. This is what we know.

Europe approves Imvanex vaccine

The European Commission approved on Monday, July 25, the extension of a vaccine from the Bavarian Nordic pharmaceutical group against the spread of monkeypox, the Danish laboratory announced on Monday.

The go-ahead from Brussels comes after the European regulator, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), gave the green light on Friday to extend the Imvanex vaccine, already authorized since 2013 in the European Union (EU).

“This approval of the monkeypox vaccine is an example of good cooperation between Bavarian Nordic and European regulators, an extension of employment that typically takes six to nine months,” the Danish manufacturer said in a statement.

The authorization of the European Commission is transferred to all the Member States of the EU, as well as to Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, the Scandinavian group specified.

The EU has purchased 160,000 doses of vaccines. The European Commissioner for Health, Stella Kyriakides, urged the EU countries that have not signed the corresponding contract to do so as soon as possible to guarantee deliveries, according to a letter addressed to the health ministers of the member countries consulted by the Reuters agency.

The Imvanex vaccine is marketed as Jynneos in the United States, where it has been licensed against monkeypox since 2019. This makes it the only drug licensed for prevention of the disease.

Who makes it and where is it from?

The vaccine is manufactured by the Bavarian Nordic biopharmaceutical company in Denmark.

Who should apply it and who should not?

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends this vaccine for the prevention of smallpox and earthquake pox in adults 18 years of age and older who are at high risk for these infections.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the use of this vaccine for certain laboratory workers and members of emergency response teams who may be exposed to the viruses that cause orthoixvirus infections.

They also recommend the vaccines for personnel who administer a vaccine against another type of smallpox or who care for patients with the disease.

Rosamund Lewis, a WHO specialist in the disease, said that the distribution of the vaccine should be made based on public health needs, country by country and place by place: “Anyone who had been exposed to someone with monkeypox You should get vaccinated first.”

The CDC says that vaccines should not be used in people who have certain health conditions, such as a weakened immune system, skin conditions such as atomic dermatitis or eczema, or in people who are pregnant.

Dosage and side effects

The vaccine is applied in two doses of 0.5 ml each, four weeks apart. People who have received a smallpox vaccine before may need only one dose.

Booster doses are recommended every 2 to 10 years if the person remains at ongoing risk of exposure to smallpox.

Some of the more common side effects are redness, pain, swelling, and itching at the injection site.

Other expected side effects are:
•Muscle pain

Where is it available?

The countries that produce vaccines are Denmark, Japan and the United States. In addition to the EU and the United States, the vaccine is also approved by Canada.

“Countries with the capacity to manufacture smallpox and monkeypox diagnostics, vaccines or therapeutics should increase the production and availability of medical countermeasures,” said Rosamund Lewis of the WHO.

He added that countries and manufacturers should collaborate with the WHO to ensure that necessary diagnostics, vaccines, treatments and other supplies are available based on public health needs.

With information from AFP and Reuters

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