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Smallpox vaccine offered in Ireland to those at high risk of contracting monkeypox

DUBLIN: Ireland to offer smallpox vaccine to those most at risk of contracting monkeypox.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said the vaccine would be offered to gay and bisexual men, other men who have sex with men, as well as others at higher risk of unsafe exposure.

The plan is to administer two doses of smallpox vaccine 28 days apart as soon as possible to high-risk individuals. This is in accordance with the Interim Chief Medical Officer’s endorsement of the National Immunisation Advisory Committee’s (NIAC) recommendations.

The Health Minister said this is an important step in Ireland’s response to the monkeypox outbreak. It will “help protect those at high risk of exposure to monkeypox”, he added.

“Monkeypox is usually a self-limiting illness, and most people recover within a few weeks, however the rapid spread of infection necessitates further measures beyond those currently in place,” Mr Donnelly said.

Mr Donnelly said targeting those at higher risk and taking precautions would be very effective in controlling further spread of the disease.

Interim CMO Professor Breda Smyth said NIAC’s recommendations are essential in controlling the spread of the disease. She also encouraged those with symptoms of infection to seek medical advice and follow public health guidelines.

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