Monkeypox vaccine limited to ‘high-risk’ people in Spain due to shortage of doses

Image of monkeypox patient. Credit: Centre for Disease Control and Prevention

Due to a shortage of doses, Spain’s Public Health Commission has prioritised the monkeypox vaccine only for those at ‘high-risk’.

Spain’s Public Health Commission today, Thursday, June 9, approved the monkeypox vaccine. It has had to prioritise its use though, due to the ‘limited availability of doses’. As a result, post-exposure vaccination will only be administered for groups of people at high risk of severity, or exposure.

The body also explained that it does not recommend pre-exposure vaccination, “although it could be recommended later depending on the evolution of the outbreak and the availability of vaccines”, according to okdiario.com.

Monkeypox cases have increased around the world, fueling the race for a vaccine. This spread of the virus has placed Danish pharmaceutical company Bavarian Nordic in a strong position as it is the only one that currently manufactures a vaccine. Its value has subsequently soared up to 20 per cent on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange.

Spain assures that it will continue to consider the purchase of doses of both the vaccine and antivirals that can contain the infections.

Italy and Sweden have become the latest countries to report cases of monkeypox, after those in Britain, Spain, Portugal, and the United States. Meanwhile, the World Health organisation (WHO) has called for contact tracing of the wave of cases.

The monkeypox virus can be transmitted from person to person through air droplets, close body contact, or by sharing contaminated bedding or objects, and up until now, only occurred in Central and West Africa.

This Thursday, June 9, the Ministry of Health confirmed 242 positive cases of monkeypox in Spain, nine more than on Wednesday, June 8. To date, the Carlos III Health Institute in Madrid has received another 486 samples belonging to suspected cases, 24 more than yesterday.

As reported by the health department, once some samples had been reviewed, the negatives stood at 244 cases for smallpox and others for orthopoxvirus, therefore they were ruled out as cases. 

Cases are classified by the Ministry of Health protocol between probable and suspected depending on whether the patient meets clinical and epidemiological criteria – probable cases – or if he only presents clinical criteria, which is considered a suspected case.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he 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 [email protected]

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