The only specifically approved monkeypox vaccine to date offers “strong protection” against the disease with the first dose, according to a new study. Two weeks after the first dose, the vaccine is estimated to be 78 percent effective, Britain’s health authority said on Tuesday.
“We now know that the first dose of the vaccine provides strong protection against monkeypox,” said Jamie Lopez-Bernal, an epidemiologist at the UK Health Agency. The findings are based on a study of 363 cases of monkeypox in England from July to November. It is the “strongest UK evidence to date” of the vaccine’s effectiveness, according to the authority.
The vaccine is a vaccine from the German-Danish manufacturer Bavarian Nordic, which is also used in Austria. The second vaccination is carried out 28 days after the first dose. “The second dose can be expected to provide even greater and longer-lasting protection,” Lopez-Bernal said.
Numbers in Europe are falling again
Monkeypox is a much less dangerous relative of smallpox, which was eradicated about 40 years ago. Typical symptoms of the disease include high fever, swollen lymph nodes and pustules similar to chicken pox.
The disease is transmitted through close body-to-skin contact. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), men who have sex with men are particularly affected. If monkeypox is not treated, the symptoms usually go away on their own after two to four weeks.
Until this year, the disease occurred mainly in West and Central Africa, but since May it has spread to other countries. However, numbers in Western Europe and North America, which are particularly affected, have been falling for several months. (APA/AFP)