Monkeypox: Opas predicts limited doses of vaccine – 07/27/2022 – Balance and Health

PAHO (Pan American Health Organization) said this Wednesday (27) that negotiations for the purchase of doses of vaccines against monkeypox (monkey smallpox) for countries on the American continent are advanced, but doses should be limited this year. .

“We are hopeful that we will have vaccines this year. […] limited, because we only have one producer and it will be little by little”, said Marcos Espinal, interim deputy director of PAHO.

Marcelo Queiroga, Minister of Health, said this Monday (25) that there is no provision to vaccinate the entire population against monkeypox and that the priority should be the isolation of confirmed cases and guidance on the forms of contagion.

“There is no forecast of mass vaccination in relation to monkeypox in any country in the world. They are specific groups, which health authorities still do not have a consensus on,” he said.

Currently, the Jynneos vaccine, from the Danish pharmaceutical company Bavarian Nordic, is the only licensed immunizer in the world for monkeypox. It has already been approved for disease prevention by major international agencies such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Commission.

Another possibility is the use of vaccines that were developed to prevent common smallpox. One such case is Sanofi’s ACAM2000, which is being used against monkeypox in the United States.

However, further evidence of the effectiveness of these immunizers in preventing monkeypox is still needed, as they were initially designed for smallpox. “Importantly, the available evidence on efficacy and safety [dessas vacinas] are limited,” says Andrea Vicari, head of PAHO’s infectious threat management unit.

He also points out that there is no recommendation for mass vaccination for monkeypox. Health professionals at high risk of exposure or those who work in laboratories with direct manipulation of the virus are priority groups for receiving immunizations.

It is also possible to immunize those who have had contact with a person who has received a positive diagnosis of the disease. This is because, depending on the moment of contact, vaccines can prevent the development of the disease even after exposure to the pathogen.

Vicari also said evidence is lacking on whether older people vaccinated against smallpox years ago, when they were still children, would be protected from monkeypox. “We have a lot of uncertainty about that,” she says.

He cites that cases have already been reported of people over 50 years old, who must have been vaccinated against common smallpox, with monkeypox. “It demonstrates that it is a risk in people who have been vaccinated […] against smallpox that could also be infected with monkeypox.”

Prevention

In addition to vaccination, other measures can be taken to prevent monkeypox. The main one is to avoid direct contact with the lesions of infected people, as this is the most common form of transmission of the virus.

Most of the current cases are being reported in contexts of sexual contact. Most affected are men who have sex with men who have multiple sex partners. Therefore, reducing the number of sexual partners is seen as a measure to avoid infection.

Even so, it is important to avoid stigmatizing this population. Marilu Valdez, deputy director of PAHO, clarifies that the disease is not restricted to these men. “Anyone, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation, can become infected with monkeypox.”

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