Monkeypox: Is there an effective vaccine?

The monkeypox virus continues to spread in Europe and around the world. Although there is no specific vaccine for monkeypox, its scientific name may be effective in “classic” smallpox treatments.

It is a virus that is well known to scientists, yet its recent spread around the world is alarming. Monkeypox is a zoonotic viral disease, that is, a virus that is transmitted from animals to humans. If, in most cases, the disease is mild for humans, then the question of treatment and a vaccine arises when cases are identified simultaneously in several countries, including France.

According to the World Health Organization, the “classic” smallpox vaccine, which caused serious epidemics in Europe until the eighteenth century, is 85% effective in preventing monkeypox, as there is no specific vaccine for it. Thus, a previous vaccination against smallpox may result in less severe disease.

Vaccination study for high-risk patients

However, the first generation of smallpox vaccines is no longer available to the general public. After the disease was formally eradicated on a global scale in the 1980s, countries were called upon to destroy their stockpiles of virus necessary to develop vaccines to prevent its spread. The obligation to vaccinate against smallpox was officially lifted in 1984, and the younger generations are, a priori, not immunized.

However, stocks of viruses and vaccines are still preserved in laboratories. According to a document from the High Council of Public Health, in 2012, there were just over 82 million doses of first-generation vaccines left in France, he recalls. France information, which have been preserved for outbreaks of epidemics. Newspaper Cross He also pointed out that the Supreme Health Authority should decide on Monday, May 23, regarding the vaccination against the orthopoxvirus in monkeys.

Although there is no specific monkeypox vaccine approved in Europe, Spain is in the process of finalizing the purchase of 70 million doses of the traditional smallpox vaccine, called Imvanex. , which was approved by the European Medicines Agency in 2013, according to information from the Spanish Daily Country. The UK has also already started stockpiling vaccines.

The European Center for Disease Prevention said in a situation update Thursday that monkeypox vaccination “should be considered in close-up high-risk vaccination after an assessment of benefits/risks”, such as for young children or immunocompromised people. Should a vaccination campaign be launched, then it would not be a matter of mass vaccination of the largest number of people, as was the case for Covid-19.

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