The European Commission has authorised a smallpox vaccination for use against monkeypox, after the World Health Organization’s declaration of monkeypox as a global health emergency, according to the Danish manufacturer that created the vaccine.
“The European Commission has extended the marketing authorisation for the company’s smallpox vaccine, Imvanex, to include protection from monkeypox” in line with a recommendation by the EU’s medicines watchdog, Bavarian Nordic said in a statement.
“The approval… is valid in all European Union Member States as well as in Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway.”
The WHO labelled the monkeypox epidemic, which has infected over 16,000 individuals in 72 countries, a global health emergency on Saturday, the highest level of alert.
Imvanex has been licenced in the EU for the prevention of smallpox since 2013.
Because of the resemblance between the monkeypox virus and the smallpox virus, it was also considered a possible vaccination for monkeypox.
Smallpox, which was eliminated in 1980, is less harmful and infectious than monkeypox.
During the first five days, monkeypox symptoms include fever, headaches, muscular soreness, and back pain.
Rashes form on the face, palms of the hands, and soles of the feet, followed by lesions, patches, and eventually scabs.
Since early May, there has been an increase in monkeypox cases outside of the West and Central African nations where the illness has long been prevalent.
The EMA conducts scientific assessments of medications and makes recommendations on whether or not they should be commercialised.
However, under EU legislation, the EMA lacks the jurisdiction to actually allow marketing in the various EU nations. The authorising body is the European Commission, which makes a legally binding decision based on the EMA’s proposal.