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Few doses and ‘uncoordinated’: Is Europe struggling to rollout the monkeypox vaccine?

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The fightback against monkeypox has begun with European nations finally taking action to vaccinate at-risk groups against the disease.The outbreak has seen cases in more than 30 countries in the European region of a disease which was previously localised in Western and Central Africa.Spreading through close skin contact, contact with clothes or the bedding of someone infected, and through large breath droplets, the disease is mainly circulating amongst men who have sex with men (MSM).Though it’s believed to currently be mainly transmitted through sexual contact (including kissing and cuddling), it’s not a sexually transmitted infection.The first case of monkeypox was detected in Europe in early May, but it was July when the EU Commission announced it had ordered 109,090 doses of the Bavarian Nordic vaccine.A further 54,530 doses were ordered later in the month by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), bringing the total to 163,620.These vaccines have been distributed to affected countries including Spain, Germany, Portugal and Belgium, but are they reaching the people they need to fast enough?The Bavarian Nordic vaccine is actually a smallpox vaccine which is judged to be effective against monkeypox.

Two doses are required four weeks apart with maximum immunity reached two weeks after the second shot.The vaccine is believed to offer 85 per cent protection to those that receive it but this is currently under review.Nonetheless, large doses are being ordered around the world with Australia ordering 450,000, while in the US this week, President Joe Biden declared monkeypox a public health emergency.Doses of the Bavarian Nordic vaccine have been distributed within the EU with most going to countries

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