Monkeypox vaccination – what you need to know

Vaccine, availability, risk groups
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Monkeypox vaccination – what you need to know

About three weeks after the first detection of monkeypox in Germany, the number of recorded infections is increasing. The Standing Committee on Immunization (Stiko) now recommends vaccination for some target groups. What you need to know.

According to the World Health Organization on Sunday, monkeypox has now been detected in about 30 countries where the virus is not spreading otherwise. There are several hundreds of cases. The number of infected people in Germany is also increasing. Infections with monkeypox recorded by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) rose to 165 three weeks after the first detection in Germany (as of June 10). Two days earlier, the RKI was aware of 113 cases nationwide. The Standing Committee on Immunization (Stiko) now recommends vaccination against the viral disease for some target groups. We have compiled the most important facts about vaccination.

Who should be vaccinated?

There are two groups identified by Stiko. On the one hand, there are people over the age of 18 who have already been in contact with infected people, and on the other hand, this is the group that has an increased risk of infection. The committee names these two groups more accurately.

The first group includes people who “have close physical contact through infected skin or mucous membranes”. It was. Including people whoHe had prolonged unprotected face-to-face contact with a sick person, aIt was also unprotected near an infected person for a long time, at a distance of less than one meter. This group also includes people who have come into contact with a sick person or the virus in medical care without protective equipment, as well as laboratory workers who have accidentally come into contact with monkeypox material. The vaccination should be given as a precaution as soon as possible within 14 days.

The second group includes people at increased risk of exposure. The panel includes same-sex men with variable partners. The reason for this recommendation is that cases in Germany have so far only occurred among these men. Steko says this group should be given special protection. Employees in some private laboratories may also be at increased risk.

Do we all need to be vaccinated against monkeypox?

According to the current situation, it is not necessary for everyone over the age of 18 to be vaccinated. The Stiko recommendations are a recommendation for inferential vaccinations. This is the so-called vaccinations, which, unlike standard vaccinations, are recommended only under certain conditions or only for certain groups of people.

Is there a vaccine against monkeypox yet?

In the European Union, the Imvanex smallpox vaccine has been approved, which is also used to protect against it monkey pox And Stiko announced in a statement that it can be used.

What type of vaccine is Imvanex?

Imvanex is a file A live attenuated vaccine. he is It contains a modified live form of the vaccinia virus called ‘Ankara’ vaccinia virus, which is related to the smallpox virus.

How many vaccines is available?

The federal government has ordered 240,000 doses of the Imvanex vaccine, the Federal Department of Health informed our editors upon request.

When will the vaccine be available?

According to the current situation, the first 40,000 doses will be delivered in the 24th week of 2022, and the remaining deliveries will take place during the third quarter of 2022, the Federal Ministry of Health announced on Friday (10 June). , 2022). The concept of distribution is still being agreed upon. Stiko’s recommendation, which is currently at the hearing, was included. Since the vaccine will initially only be available to a limited extent, according to Steko, preference should be given to people from the first group, that is, people who have previously had contact with infected people.

How is the vaccine given?

Imvanex is injected under the skin, preferably in the upper arm. Persons who have not previously been vaccinated against smallpox should receive two 0.5 ml doses, with the second dose given no later than 28 days after the first vaccination.

How does the vaccine work?

Vaccines teach the immune system how to defend itself against disease. The immune system recognizes the virus in the vaccine as “foreign” and produces antibodies against it. If a vaccinated person comes into contact with this virus or a similar virus, these antibodies along with other components of the immune system are able to kill the virus and protect the person from disease.

Will my old smallpox vaccine help against monkeypox?

Variola and monkeypox are similar. Therefore, vaccines designed to prevent smallpox also protect against monkeypox. The obligation to get the primary vaccination was rescinded in the FRG in 1976 and in the German Democratic Republic in 1982. For people who had already been vaccinated against smallpox in the past, a single dose of the vaccine is sufficient instead of the primary vaccination, Steko reports. However, this does not apply to patients with weakened immune systems. These patients should receive two doses of booster.

Does the chickenpox vaccine help against monkeypox?

The causative agent of chickenpox (varicella) belongs to the herpes viruses and is not related to true smallpox, monkeypox or cowpox. Therefore, the chickenpox vaccination does not protect against monkeypox.

Is vaccination against monkeypox compatible with vaccination against corona?

Due to the different types of vaccine (live attenuated/mRNA or vector vaccine), there should generally be no weakness. However, there is no knowledge as to whether the vaccines can be given at the same time or how long they should be. According to Stiko’s current recommendation, this question should initially be less relevant, given that many people have already been vaccinated against Covid-19 and the recommendation is not general, but limited to certain groups of people (a high-risk group), according to the institute. Paul Ehrlich is our editor with.

Is monkeypox a new epidemic or even a pandemic?

monkey pox It is considered a less serious disease than smallpox, which has been eradicated since 1980. According to current knowledge (as of June 10, 2022), the RKI (Robert Koch Institute) assesses the risks to the health of the general population in Germany as low. Since close contact is required to transmit the pathogen, according to the RKI, it can be assumed that the outbreak can be limited. However, the situation will continue to be monitored and the assessment will be adapted to the current state of knowledge.

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