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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Monkeypox vaccines: The WHO estimates that around 16 million doses are available as cases rise

Monkeypox vaccines: As per WHO, around 16 mn doses are available as cases rise.

Key Takeaways:

  • According to the World Health Organization, the monkeypox vaccine has been approved for use in around 16 million doses, and further candidates are being researched.
  • To protect all high-risk groups, the WHO estimates that between five million and 10 million vaccine doses will be needed.
  • A total of 30 million doses of vaccines, including the Bavarian vaccine for smallpox and others, can be created each year.

The World Health Organization estimates that 16 million doses of the monkeypox vaccine have been approved for use, and more candidates are being investigated (WHO).

According to WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, most vaccinations are stored in bulk, meaning it will take many months to put them into vials.

The Imvamune or MVA-BN vaccine, typically used to treat smallpox, has received approval from the European Union, the United States, and Canada.

The WHO director announced that two more vaccinations, LC16 and ACAM-2000, are also being evaluated and urged nations with stockpiles to distribute doses while supplies last.

Also read: Epidural shortage raising concerns across Canada

During a virtual news conference on Wednesday, Tedros informed the media that “we still lack data on the efficiency of vaccines for monkeypox or how many doses may be needed.”

The WHO on Saturday declared monkeypox a worldwide health emergency.

Around the world, 78 nations have recorded more than 18,000 cases of monkeypox, with at least 70% occurring in Europe. According to the WHO, the current outbreak has resulted in 10% of patients being hospitalized and five deaths in Africa.

The Public Health Agency of Canada estimates that as of July 26, there were 745 confirmed cases of monkeypox in Canada.

Tedros added that the UN health organization is not now advocating widespread immunization. Only high-risk groups, such as healthcare workers and males who have sex with multiple-partner men, are advised to get vaccinated.

The WHO predicts that between five million and ten million doses of vaccination will be required to protect all high-risk groups.

A two-dose vaccine is called Imvamune. The second dosage of the vaccine must be received several weeks later to provide full protection, but until then, patients should take extra precautions, according to WHO specialists.

More investigation on the efficiency of the vaccines against monkeypox was also demanded.

Monkeypox vaccines: As per WHO, around 16 mn doses are available as cases rise.
Monkeypox vaccines: As per WHO, around 16 mn doses are available as cases rise. Image from Business Standard

Dr. Soumya Swamintham, the head scientist for the WHO, stated that at this time, “we do not have the data to firmly claim that the vaccination is the best solution to this.”

In Canada, the NACI released new recommendations last month recommending that anyone who has visited an area where the virus is being transmitted or who has a high risk of exposure to a probable or confirmed case of monkeypox receive one dose of the Imvamune vaccine.

Both at-risk groups and those exposed to monkeypox are being provided the immunizations. The public health departments can schedule appointments over the phone or online.

More than 70,000 doses of Imvamune have been distributed to provinces and territories by the Canadian government as of this writing.

Bavarian Nordic, a Danish company, is in discussions to possibly double its vaccine production capacity, according to the CEO.

A total of 30 million doses of vaccines, including the smallpox vaccine and other ones produced by Bavarian, can be produced annually.

Source: Global News

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