900 cases of monkeypox in the EU mean that 110,000 doses of vaccine against it are now being bought. In Germany, the number of monkeypox cases recorded has risen to more than 200.
The European Union plans to buy around 110,000 doses of monkeypox vaccine.
She will sign the agreement later today, said EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides on Tuesday on the sidelines of the EU ministerial meeting in Luxembourg. The first cans should be delivered to the EU countries as early as the end of June. There are currently 900 cases of monkeypox in the EU and around 1,400 worldwide, said Kyriakides.
In Germany, the Standing Vaccination Commission recommended monkeypox vaccination for certain risk groups and people who had close contact with infected people last week. Stiko sees an increased risk of infection in men who have same-sex sexual contact with changing partners. Although everyone can be infected through close physical contact, the cases in Germany have “so far only occurred among men in the MSM community,” wrote the Stiko. This group should therefore be given special protection. MSM stands for “men who have sex with men”.
Staff from special laboratories may also be eligible for preventive vaccination. The draft decision of the recommendation now has to go through a so-called commenting procedure and is not yet a final official recommendation.
Almost 230 cases of monkeypox in Germany
The number of monkeypox records recorded by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in Germany has risen to more than 200. The RKI gave the number of patients on its website on Tuesday as exactly 229, after around 190 the day before. Furthermore, no cases in women and children are known, said an RKI spokeswoman on request. According to the institute, eleven federal states have reported those affected by the viral disease. There are particularly many in Berlin, where 142 cases were registered as of Monday. The risk assessment of the RKI continues: “According to current knowledge, the RKI assesses a risk to the health of the general population in Germany as low.”
There are still isolated transmissions, “but the outbreak tends not to develop exponentially growing numbers of cases,” said Timo Ulrichs, an expert in global health at the Akkon University of Human Sciences in Berlin, on request. A sexually transmitted infection spreads more slowly than one that is airborne. Since May, monkeypox has been detected in hundreds of people in numerous countries outside of Africa.
“It was to be expected that monkeypox made it out of Africa into the world at all, but it was surprising in this dynamic,” says Ulrichs. The now documented cases in Germany could be well limited by various measures. This includes comprehensive and good education about transmission routes and protection options – this essentially corresponds to the safer sex rules – as well as targeted vaccinations.
As Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD) recently announced, the vaccine should be available from June 15th. The Standing Committee on Vaccination (Stiko) announced last week that the smallpox vaccine Imvanex would be recommended for certain groups. These include adults who have had contact with infected people and men who have same-sex sexual contacts with changing partners. Because of the initially limited availability of the vaccine, it was said that the vaccine should be offered preferentially to people who have been exposed to the virus.