Does having the smallpox vaccine protect you against monkeypox?

Does having the smallpox vaccine protect you against monkeypox? Credit Creative Commons Attribution 4.0

As of today, 20 positive cases have been detected in Spain, while 59 others are still under investigation according to 20 Minutos.

The Ministry of Health and the autonomous regions will meet this afternoon in the Interterritorial Health Council to analyze the evolution of the outbreaks of monkeypox in Spain

For the moment, the central government has ruled out vaccinating against smallpox in the population under 40 years of age.

The disease was eradicated in Spain in 1980 and the central government has said those who were born after the disease was eradicated will not need the vaccine and, instead, it is evaluating the purchase of antiviral drugs.

In any case, the existing smallpox vaccine would only be administered to people who have had close contact with an infected person.

What is the mortality rate of monkeypox? The most serious complications could occur in children and young people, because people over 40 or 50 years of age who were previously vaccinated against smallpox may retain some protection.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said “there are no specific treatments or vaccines against monkeypox virus infection, although outbreaks can be controlled. In the past, the smallpox vaccine was 85% effective in preventing smallpox,”

How you get monkeypox? Monkeypox can be caught from infected wild animals in parts of west and central Africa. It’s thought to be spread by rodents, such as rats, mice and squirrels.

You can catch monkeypox from an infected animal if you’re bitten or you touch its blood, body fluids, spots, blisters or scabs.

It may also be possible to catch monkeypox by eating meat from an infected animal that has not been cooked thoroughly, or by touching other products from infected animals (such as animal skin or fur).

Monkeypox can also be spread through: touching clothing, bedding or towels used by someone with the monkeypox rash, touching monkeypox skin blisters or scabs and the coughs or sneezes of a person with the monkeypox rash

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Written by

Anna Ellis

Originally from the UK, Anna is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at