Monkey pox vaccines: WHO says about 16 million doses available as cases rise

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are approximately 16 million doses of vaccine approved for use against monkeypox, and other candidates are being considered.

Most vaccines are stored in bulk, meaning it will take several months to put them in vials, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Wednesday.

Bavarian Nordic’s Imvamune or MVA-BN vaccine, which is typically used to treat smallpox, has been approved by Canada, the United States and the European Union.

Read more: Monkeypox declared a global health emergency. Are travel restrictions needed?

Two other vaccines, LC16 and ACAM-2000, are also being considered, said the WHO chief, who urged countries with stockpiles to share doses while supplies are limited.

“We still lack data on the effectiveness of monkeypox vaccines or how many doses might be needed,” Tedros told reporters during a virtual news conference on Wednesday.

Story continues below ad

Monkey pox was declared a global health emergency by the WHO on Saturday.

2:01 Doctors worried that upcoming events could lead to an increase in cases of monkeypox Doctors worried that upcoming events could lead to an increase in cases of monkeypox

Globally, more than 18,000 cases of monkeypox have been reported in 78 countries, with at least 70% in Europe. About 10 percent of patients have been hospitalized in the current outbreak and five have died, all in Africa, the WHO said.

Trending stories

  • Two men charged with first-degree murder in Ripudaman Singh Malik’s death

  • Pope Francis receiving a tiara sparks heated emotions among First Nations communities

Canada has confirmed 745 cases of monkeypox as of July 26, but those numbers are expected to rise, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

However, at this time, the UN health agency does not recommend mass vaccination, Tedros said. It only recommends vaccination for high-risk groups, including healthcare workers and men who have sex with men with multiple sexual partners.

WHO estimates that five to ten million doses of vaccine will be needed to protect all high-risk groups.

Story continues below ad

Read more: Canadian health officials keep monkeypox update after WHO declares emergency

Imvamune is a two-dose vaccine. WHO experts warned that it takes several weeks after getting the second dose of the vaccine to be fully protected, so people should take other precautions until then.

They also called for more research into the effectiveness of monkeypox injections.

“At the moment, we don’t have the data to say with confidence that a vaccine is the best approach for this,” said Dr Soumya Swamintham, the WHO’s chief scientist.

1:56 Hundreds of monkeypox cases reported in Canada Hundreds of monkeypox cases reported in Canada

In Canada, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) released new guidelines last month saying that anyone at high risk of exposure to a probable or confirmed case of monkeypox, or someone who has visited an environment where transmission of the virus is occurring. , should receive a dose of the Imvamune vaccine.

Story continues below ad

Vaccines are offered to people who have been exposed to monkeypox, as well as to at-risk groups. The appointment can be requested online or by phone through the public health units.

To date, the Government of Canada has deployed more than 70,000 doses of Imvamune to provinces and territories.

The CEO of Danish company Bavarian Nordic said it is in talks to potentially expand its vaccine production capacity.

Bavaria has an annual production capacity of 30 million doses, including the smallpox vaccine and other vaccines it makes.

— with Reuters files

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *