The European Union is ordering 110,000 monkeypox vaccines in light of the current virus outbreak.
An agreement to this effect has been reached with the Danish biotech company Bavarian Nordic. Delivery to EU states could start at the end of June, EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said Tuesday on the sidelines of a meeting of EU health ministers in Luxembourg. According to Bavarian Nordic, it should start immediately.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) had recently said it was in talks with Bavarian Nordic, that could see approval of its smallpox vaccine Imvanex extended to monkeypox. In the U.S., the vaccine is already approved for use in monkeypox. Some EU countries, including Germany and Spain, have already placed their orders with Bavarian Nordic. Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said that around 40,000 vaccine doses could be delivered in June, with a further 200,000 delivered later in the year. Bavarian Nordic raised its sales forecast for this year in the wake of the EU order.
According to German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD), the vaccine should be available from June 15. The Standing Commission on Vaccination (Stiko) announced last week that the smallpox vaccine Imvanex would be recommended for specific groups. These include adults who have had contact with infected individuals and men who have same-sex sexual contact with alternating partners. Because of initially limited vaccine availability, the statement said the vaccine should be offered preferentially to people who have been exposed to the virus.
The number of monkeypox detections in Germany recorded by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) has risen to more than 200. The RKI gave the number of patients on Tuesday on its website at exactly 229, after about 190 the previous day. Furthermore, there are no known cases in women and children, and the RKI spokeswoman said in response to a query. In Austria, there have been four proven monkeypox cases so far.
Monkeypox: smallpox vaccination is highly effective according to the WHO
The World Health Organization (WHO) had recently reported nearly 1,300 cases of monkeypox in countries outside Africa – most of them in men who have sex with men (MSM). Monkeypox occurs mainly in West and Central Africa and rarely spreads to other countries, making the current trend unusual. In Italy, fragments of the monkeypox virus have now been detected in semen for the first time in a handful of patients, raising the question of whether a sexual transmission is possible. According to the Robert Koch Institute, human-to-human transmission is rare and only possible through close contact. It can occur through contact with the typical skin lesions or excreted respiratory secretions and saliva. Whether monkeypox can be spread through semen or vaginal secretions has not yet been conclusively determined, according to the RKI, but it seems possible.
Researchers at the Spallanzani Institute in Rome have detected the virus’s genetic material in semen from six of seven patients at the facility. In particular, a sample from a single patient examined in the laboratory indicated that the virus found in his semen is capable of infecting and replicating in another person. These data, however, were not enough to prove that the biological characteristics of the virus and its transmission have changed, the director-general of the institute, Francesco Vaia, told the Reuters news agency. However, he said the finding strongly supports the hypothesis that the virus is sexually transmitted. The WHO has been informed of this, he said.
- source: k.at/picture:pixabay.com
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