Germany must prioritize first doses of monkeypox vaccine, experts say

BERLIN, July 21 (Reuters) – Germany’s vaccine advisory committee said it urgently recommended that the country use all the monkeypox vaccine it has on hand to administer first doses, and that second shots be offered only once enough doses are available.

“To mitigate the current wave of infection, slow the spread of monkeypox and eventually end the outbreak, a high vaccination coverage of the indication groups is needed,” the committee, known as STIKO, said in a statement.

Germany has recorded some 2,110 cases of monkeypox so far, out of more than 13,000 cases worldwide, STIKO said.

The committee recommends that people over 18 who have been exposed to or are at increased risk of monkeypox infection receive a vaccine made by Bavarian Nordic (BAVA.CO).

Those at increased risk of monkeypox include men who have sex with multiple male partners and infectious disease lab workers.

STIKO said on Thursday that Germany’s Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases estimates that that currently applies to about 130,000 people in Germany, but the country has so far received only 40,000 doses of Bavarian Nordic’s Jynneos, known as Imvanex in Europe.

A further 200,000 doses are expected in the third quarter, according to STIKO.

Reporting by Maria Sheahan

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Source: Reuters