The first batch of 5,300 monkeypox vaccine doses ordered by the European Commission’s Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA) was sent to Spain on Tuesday, according to a Commission official.
“As of today, the first vaccine deliveries in response to the monkeypox epidemic have arrived in the most impacted nations,” Stella Kyriakides, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, stated. The Commission ordered 1,09,090 doses of Imvanex, a smallpox vaccine manufactured by Danish producer Bavarian Nordic, in mid-June and intended to begin delivery to European Union (EU) member states, as well as Norway and Iceland, by the end of this month.
The vaccine doses are distributed on a pro-rata basis, with the nations with the largest number of cases receiving priority distribution. Vaccines will be distributed after Spain, Portugal, Germany, and Belgium.
On the same day, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) launched a rolling evaluation of Imvanex’s use against monkeypox. According to the organisation, laboratory investigations show that the vaccination “triggers the creation of antibodies that target the monkeypox virus.”
Imvanex is now approved in the EU for adult smallpox prevention. Because the viruses that cause smallpox and monkeypox are so similar, the smallpox vaccination may be used to prevent the spread of monkeypox.
Because Imvanex is not widely accessible in the EU, the EMA suggests using Jynneos, a Jynneos-manufactured variant licenced by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for both smallpox and monkeypox.
Monkeypox symptoms include fever, headache, muscular pains, and tiredness, and the condition is potentially lethal. It is a zoonotic illness, which means it may be transferred not just from animals to people, but also from humans to humans.
“Since May 18, approximately 2,682 cases of monkeypox have been reported in 23 EU member states (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden),” according to the Commission.
The current epidemic of monkeypox is the first outside of Africa.