Europe allows five people to be immunized with each monkeypox vaccine

Vaccination against monkeypox. / EP

The measure will notably relaunch the regional campaigns to break the chain of infections, hitherto gripped by the shortage of serum

Alfonso Torres

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) today met the requirements of several countries, including Spain, and authorized the use of the monkeypox vaccine application method that allows five people to be immunized with each dose of the now they are inoculated to a single individual.

Thanks to the authorization of the EMA, an emergency solution allowed ten days ago by its North American counterpart, the FDA, the regional health services will be able to have an abundant number of vaccines to try to cut with greater chances of success the expansion of a outbreak that accumulates some 6,000 positives in Spain since last May.

With the doses that are in the stores, conveniently multiplied by five, the ministries would have serum to preventively immunize the Spaniards at greater risk of contracting the disease, to break the chain of infections, and also to give the prick to the contacts direct from the already infected, thus avoiding not only new infections but also the development of a serious form of the disease.

The current enormous shortage of doses is due to the fact that there is only one laboratory on the planet that manufactures smallpox vaccines (also effective in the monkey variant), Jynneos, which in the last three months has received an avalanche of orders from all over the world, which have overwhelmed him because he is incapable of satisfying. It is serving requests by drops, clearly insufficient to propose an effective preventive fight that cuts the spread of infections.

The EMA, in its resolution, grants credibility to the study by Jynneos, which defends that if its serum is injected intradermally (in the first layers of the skin) instead of subcutaneously (in the muscle), which was until now the procedure recommended by the firm itself, it is achieved that with a fifth of the dose of the vaccine (0.1 milliliter instead of 0.5) an immunization similar to that achieved today with the full dose is achieved in the recipient .

redness and pain

The EU body, as the only drawbacks, points out that the emergency method does not provide data on itself, it also achieves "cellular immunity" and that, on the other hand, it is certain that intradermal administration will cause greater redness and pain in the puncture area . To maximize the use of the serum and reduce the secondary effects of the administration method, it is recommended that the inoculation be done with low dead volume syringes and that the operation be carried out by professionals with experience in this type of injection.

The Ministry of Health has distributed in recent days among the autonomies 7,110 subcutaneous doses of the Jynneos vaccine, in addition to the 5,200 that they already have for weeks and with which they began to immunize citizens with a higher risk of infection-men under 45 years of age who have sexual relations with other men - and to close contacts of those infected, especially if they are children, pregnant or immunosuppressed, who are the candidates for suffering more serious sequelae. The ministry advanced that in the last quarter of 2022 it will be able to distribute a few thousand more subcutaneous doses among the autonomies, which will reach the EU in a third centralized purchase.

The Jynneos vaccine (distributed in Europe under the trade name Imvanex) contains a modified form of Ankara virus, a virus in the same family as smallpox and monkeypox that does not cause disease in humans. Due to these similarities, the human body after inoculation is capable of generating antibodies against these diseases.

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