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Europe on red alert for monkeypox, with EU health chiefs urging nations to plan vaccination strategies – report

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As Denmark became the latest country to be struck down, European countries will be told to prepare a vaccination plan to combat the escalating monkeypox outbreak, Daily Mail reported Monday.

The EU is set to publish a risk assessment that will advise all member states to develop an inoculation strategy to control the spread of the tropical virus, according to the Daily Mail.

There is no monkeypox vaccine, but smallpox jabs, which were routinely offered to Brits until the virus was eradicated four decades ago, are 85 percent effective, according to the Daily Mail.

The strategy that is likely to be recommended is the same one that is already in use in the United Kingdom. Officials were attempting to halt the spread of monkeypox by immunizing all close contacts of the 20 confirmed cases, including NHS workers.

Ring vaccination is a strategy that involves jabbing and monitoring anyone in close proximity to an infected person in order to create a buffer of immune people to limit disease spread.

It comes as experts warn that if the World Health Organization (WHO) declares the outbreak an emergency, nations may impose travel restrictions to control the spread of the illness.

However, the vaccine, Imvanex, manufactured by Denmark-based drugmaker Bavarian Nordic, has not been approved for use against monkeypox in Europe or the United Kingdom, according to the Daily Mail.

The European Medicines Agency approved the vaccine for smallpox use in 2013, and the US Food and Drug Administration approved it for both infections in 2019.

There is also no information on how safe it is for immunocompromised people or children, who are the groups most vulnerable to the outbreak.

It comes after WHO officials were informed on Saturday of 92 confirmed cases and 28 suspected infections, the majority of which were discovered in Europe.

The true toll, however, will be many times higher, with top scientists warning that community transmission means some of the spread will inevitably go undetected, according to the Daily Mail. Gay and bisexual men account for a disproportionate number of cases.


About the author

Brendan Taylor

Brendan Taylor was a TV news producer for 5 and a half years. He is an experienced writer. Brendan covers Breaking News at Insider Paper.

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