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Immunologist says monkeypox vaccine not needed, government must track infections

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If there are many cases and the elderly and people with comorbid conditions are infected, it may be necessary to administer a booster dose.

Since the smallpox vaccine has been shown to protect against monkeypox, there is a tremendous demand for it on a global scale.

Countries like the US have been attempting to obtain vaccines for their citizens ever since the infection began spreading outside of Africa in May of this year.

More so now that New York State has been identified as the epicenter of the monkeypox outbreak. Countries are rushing to vaccinate their citizens.

According to Dr. Vineeta Bal, a researcher with the National Institute of Immunology, the situation is different in India at this time because no overarching pattern has yet been identified.

“Nine cases total; four are from Delhi and five are from Kerala. We are unsure of how the spread is taking place.

It is unclear whether the spread is a result of both external infection and human-to-human contact. Prioritizing how the infections spread first is necessary “Dr. Bal elucidated.

Monkeypox vaccine not needed, government must track infections
Monkeypox vaccine not needed, government must track infections

She argued that, even in the unlikely event that the vaccine becomes available in the upcoming few months, there is no pressing need to get vaccinated. This is due to the low mortality rate of the monkeypox disease.

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Before 1980, vaccination rates were safer

Additionally, those over 42 who received their vaccinations prior to 1980 have received at least one smallpox shot, if not more.

“If the vaccine’s effectiveness against smallpox was good at the time, then this age group is both protected and cross-protected. This implies that the infection’s severity will be less severe in these individuals “said Dr. Bal.

No one has access to the first smallpox vaccine

The original smallpox vaccine is only still available from a few companies because the disease was eradicated in 1980.

“These vaccines are live-attenuated (use a weakened form of the germ that causes a disease to create a long-lasting immune response). There are a few vaccines in various locations around the world, including the Bavarian Nordic company.

However, these vaccines are not intended to stop and stop a pandemic like the disease known as monkeypox “said Dr. Bal.

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Who needs to get their shots first?

Dr. Bal noted that this is a challenging question to address. “This is due to the fact that I hardly ever see people receiving the vaccination in the first place.

Even the re-manufacturing of the currently available vaccines will take some time. Without knowing how the disease is spreading, we cannot put a proper strategy in place, including who should be vaccinated and how “said Dr. Bal.

Do those who have already received the vaccine require a second dose?

Again, this will depend on how the monkeypox disease is perceived to be, she said. “A booster dose of the vaccine might be required if there are many cases in the future that infect the elderly and people with comorbid conditions.

Only time will tell if a booster shot will be required in the future, “Dr. Bal concluded by saying.

Read Also: California becomes second state to declare emergency to combat spread of monkeypox

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