Brussels sends first shipment of monkeypox vaccines to Spain

by Lorraine Williamson
monkeypox vaccine

The European Commission announced on Tuesday the first delivery of the vaccine against monkeypox. The vaccine will be delivered first to Spain, the EU country most affected by the disease.  

Of the total purchase of nearly 109,000 serums, 5,300 doses are already going to Spain. “This is the first batch of deliveries. Furthermore, deliveries will take place on a regular basis over the coming weeks and months. Therefore, this is to ensure that all Member States are prepared to respond to the monkeypox outbreak, with priority given to Member States,” the Commission announced in a statement.  

Most affected 

As the most affected country, Spain will be the first EU country to receive the vaccines purchased on behalf of the European Public Health Agency (HERA). The donation will go directly from the Danish pharmaceutical company Babavira Nordic, which produces them, to the recipient countries.  

The Spanish Ministry of Health has not provided data on the infections since 13 June. At this time, 259 cases of monkeypox were confirmed, according to analyses by the Carlos III Health Institute. At the same time, the communities are analysing the numbers of infections. The number of cases reported on Monday by the Community of Madrid, the most affected area, rose to 773. That was 71 more than a day earlier.  

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Worldwide rise in infections too 

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 1,310 new cases of monkeypox have been reported worldwide in the past 10 days, bringing the total number of laboratory confirmed cases in 50 countries to 3,414. The majority of cases (86%) have been reported in European countries. With 11% in the Americas and 3% in all other regions.  

Shortly after today’s delivery to Spain, Portugal, Germany and Belgium will be the next countries to receive doses,” it said. More deliveries will take place in July and August.  

In addition to these first 5,300 doses, the government is expecting another 5,700 vaccines. A few weeks ago, the Spanish Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, reported that 11,000 units would arrive. This would be in several deliveries starting from the end of June. According to her, this would be ‘at least’ 10% of the total vaccines purchased, considering both the population and the number of people affected in Spain.  

Before the EU-wide vaccines were purchased by HERA, Spain made an emergency purchase of 200 doses in a country not disclosed by the government in order to be able to start vaccinating. The vaccines are administered after exposure to the risk situation, within four days, to immuno-compromised and HIV-positive persons who have had close contact with a monkeypox-positive person, as well as to health and laboratory staff who have not worn adequate protection when treating patients with the disease or handling the virus. 

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