Several pharmaceutical firms have begun conversations with the Centre about developing a viable vaccine against monkeypox, according to sources on Wednesday.
“The vaccine against monkeypox is under discussion with various vaccine manufacturing companies, but it is a very early stage for any such decisions. If it is required then we have potential manufacturers. If it is required in future then options will be explored,” sources told ANI. One of the vaccine manufacturing companies said there is no such next-generation vaccine specifically for monkeypox and the virus has also been mutated. “In future, there will be a requirement for the vaccine if cases rise,” the company said.
Several pharmaceutical companies are in talks with the government about developing a monkeypox vaccine.
So far, India has documented four instances of monkeypox. Three of the instances are from Kerala, while one is from Delhi.
Dr VK Paul, Member of Niti Aayog, told ANI that India is completely prepared for the illness and that there is no reason to fear.
“Our disease surveillance system has been energized even more to investigate such cases. The situation is under control, no reason to worry and panic,” Dr Paul said.
“We have to play a responsibility in case there is some individual who has symptoms who should come for diagnosis because this disease has to be represented differently. The individual could be taken care of. We have such systems and restrictions have already been issued. People with symptoms must come forward and report,” he said.
The World Health Organization (WHO) on Saturday declared monkeypox a global health emergency. However, the WHO chief Dr Tedros also said that “discrimination could be as harmful as the virus.”
Dr Poonam Khetrapal, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia, has expressed worry, stating that cases of monkeypox are now being detected in countries where no cases had previously been recorded.
“The unexpected appearance of this disease globally and in a wide geographic area indicates that the disease may have been circulating below the detection of the surveillance systems. It is possible that sustained human-to-human transmission through close contact – direct or indirect – remained undetected for a period of time,” she said.