Spain starts vaccinating against monkeypox

by Lorraine Williamson
limited monkeypox vaccinating
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MADRID – Spain starts vaccinating against monkeypox. Due to the very limited availability of vaccines, the health committee has decided that only a very specific target group is eligible for this vaccine.

This only concerns people who have been in close contact with a person who is infected. And then, only when there is a lowered resistance, underlying disease or another reason why the person can become seriously ill after being infected. The decision to approve vaccination for this group came from the health committee on Thursday 9 June. 

How many cases of monkey pox are there in Spain? 

“Depending on the development of the virus, it may be decided to expand this target group at a later date,” the Ministry of Health reported. Until Thursday, the Ministry confirms that 242 positive cases of monkey pox have been registered in Spain. Research by the Carlos III Health Institute shows around half of the samples examined test positive for the monkeypox virus. 

Experts advise Spain’s health commission on monkey pox 

The health commission, made up of the Ministry of Health and representatives from autonomous region governments, met on Thursday. They analysed proposals from experts on how to deal with the spread of the virus and protect the most vulnerable in society. 

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According to a spokesperson for Public Health, regional medical services will determine whether a patient needs a vaccine. They are also the ones who then submit the application for a vaccine to the Spanish Medicines Agency (AEMPS). Furthermore, the experts consulted have also suggested adding healthcare and laboratory personnel to the target. As of course, they are exposed to the virus on a daily basis. However, no decision has been made on this yet, El País wrote on June 9. 

Very limited availability of vaccines 

Approved antivirals are available for this virus, but supplies are very limited, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said earlier this week. To give you an idea: On June 6, Spain was sent only 200 doses of the vaccine. That is why the Ministry has decided to vaccinate only this group for the time being. 

Related article: Monkeypox cases confirmed in Spain

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