BRUSSELS: Shortage of monkeypox vaccine raises pandemic concerns again in Europe. Only 7,000 doses have been distributed to Spain, the epicenter of monkeypox in Europe. France had vaccinated 27,000 people. Gay pubs and clubs are less crowded as a result of the lower vaccination rate.
At the same time, the European Union has taken initiative to avoid a repeat of the failure that occurred during the initial stage of Covid-19. 110,000 vaccine doses were ordered using EU funds in early June. At that time, only 299 cases were reported in the EU, officials said.
Only one vaccine is approved in Europe for prevention, which is manufactured by the pharmaceutical company Bavarian Nordic. About 58,000 doses have so far been delivered for the EU, as production constraints are faced and competing orders remain. The rest are expected to be delivered by the end of August.
Vaccines for smallpox are also effective against monkeypox. Vaccination was widespread until the 1970s, but routine vaccination stopped when smallpox was eradicated. Older vaccines carry certain risks that are only acceptable when trying to prevent a disease as deadly as smallpox.
Smallpox vaccines are stored by individual countries and the World Health Organization in case the disease ever returns. Prior to the outbreak of monkeypox, Bavarian Nordic’s vaccine was widely available in some countries, including the Netherlands, France, and the United States.
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