WHO issues advisory on vaccines for monkeypox

Written by on June 16, 2022

World Health Organisation (WHO), yesterday, released an interim guidance regarding first recommendations on use of vaccines for monkeypox.

In a document, titled, “Vaccines and immunisation for monkeypox: Interim guidance,” the agency said the goal of the global response was to check the outbreak and effectively deploy public health measures to prevent further spread, noting that judicious application of vaccines could aid response.

The illness is an infectious disease caused by the monkeypox virus (MPXV). This double-stranded Deoxy ribo nucleic Acid (DNA)/genetic material bug is a member of the Orthopoxvirus genus in the Poxviridae family, related to the virus, which caused smallpox (eradicated in 1980).

WHO said the control of monkeypox outbreaks primarily relies on public health measures, including surveillance, contact tracing, isolation and care of patients. It said while smallpox vaccines are expected to provide some protection against the disease, clinical data remain limited.

The United nations health agency acknowledged that many years of research had led to development of newer and safer (second- and third-generation) vaccines for smallpox, some of which might be useful for monkeypox, and one of which (MVA-BN) has been approved for prevention of the virus.

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