The Canary Islands begin to vaccinate against monkeypox to "stop its expansion"

Two professionals from the Canary Islands Health Service show the monkeypox vaccines that will begin to be inoculated from today. / C7

The first 203 doses of the serum will be inoculated to those receiving pre-exposure prophylaxis against HIV and to contacts of confirmed cases

Carmen Delia Aranda

The Canary Islands Health Service will begin today to inoculate the monkeypox vaccine groups of people most exposed to this disease in the archipelago. The goal of targeted drug delivery against viral zoonoses is “
decrease its expansion», said yesterday Amós García Rojas, head of the Epidemiology and Prevention Section of the General Directorate of Public Health of the Government of the Canary Islands.

The epidemiologist trusts that the administration of the vaccine to the groups most sensitive to the virus, together with the preventive discourse that the disease is transmitted "by close direct contact, from person to person", will contribute to curbing the transmission of a disease that, in your opinion,
will continue to add new cases in the Canary Islands and even some death.

However, García clarified that currently the people who have the active infection in the archipelago have not needed to be hospitalized and are overcoming the disease without problems. "In general terms,
monkeypox is a mild disease but the more cases, the more likely it is to affect a vulnerable» explains Garcia.

The entry into play of the vaccine will not be able to completely cut transmission due to the difficulty of epidemiological monitoring of cases. “It is being complicated. There are certain objections to defining who has been a close contact and this makes it difficult to address the problem. When we make progress in vaccination and in the dissemination of preventive discourse, it should begin to have an impact on transmission, although the number of cases continues to rise, "says the specialist.

The first batch of vaccines against monkeypox, which begins to be injected from this Friday, is made up of 203 doses that
will be administered to those currently participating in PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) programs to reduce the chances of contracting HIV through sexual intercourse and those defined as close contacts of confirmed casess, as agreed by the Ministry of Health and the autonomous communities.

This selective vaccination campaign is intended, on the one hand, to prevent infection among the people most exposed to the virus and, on the other, to attenuate the disease in people who have had close contact with a confirmed case and who meet a series of clinical criteria. People who fall into the latter case must receive the puncture within the first four days after close contact with a confirmed case to avoid the disease.

The Canary Islands have received 200 doses of the first 5,000 distributed by the Ministry of Health throughout the State and in the coming weeks it will receive a second batch with another 200 units.

Confirmed cases in the Canary Islands

So far, the archipelago has recorded 1
18 cases of monkeypox since the start of the health alert.

On July 22, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the monkeypox outbreak an international health emergency. “It is not yet considered a pandemic. The declaration of international health emergency has served to give a wake-up call to developed countries and to get their act together with this problem, ”says García Rojas, who represents Spain in the WHO permanent committee for Europe.

Until last Tuesday,
Spain accumulated a total of 4,577 cases confirmed cases of monkeypox, of which 1,766 were reported in Madrid, 1,463 in Catalonia and another 545 in Andalusia.

Since last May, almost 11,000 cases have been confirmed in Europe. Spain is the country with the most infections, followed by Germany (2,677) and the United Kingdom (2,469).

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