Sunday, August 14

Health will vaccinate against monkeypox to people who maintain “high-risk practices”

Monkeypox vaccines for people who have not had contact with an infected person. The Public Health Commission has recommended this Tuesday that doses be given, preventively, to people who “maintain risky practices”, according to the Ministry of Health.

The arrival of doses from the centralized purchase of the European Union has made it possible to change the criteria for applying immunization against the disease. If just over a month ago it was applied only to people who had been exposed to the virus (post-exposure), now pre-exposure inoculations are incorporated.

The Public Health Commission, in which the ministry and the Autonomous Communities are represented, has analyzed this Tuesday the proposals of the experts on how to deal with the growing number of cases of this infection. According to data from the National Epidemiological Surveillance Network (RENAVE), a total of 2,447 confirmed cases have been reported.

Up to 16 autonomous communities have reported infections: 1,211 in Madrid, 681 in Catalonia, 231 in Andalusia and 77 in the Canary Islands. The rest are divided between the Valencian Community (66), the Balearic Islands (43), Euskadi (34), Aragon (29), Asturias (18), Galicia (16), Castilla-La Mancha (12), Castilla y León (8 ), Extremadura (6), Navarra (6), Murcia (5) and Cantabria (4).

Spain is currently the most affected country globally. During May and June, the reported cases have been growing, and the curve continues to rise. Other countries with a large number of cases are Germany (1,636), the United Kingdom (1,552), France (721), the Netherlands (503) and Portugal (473).

Most are young men with a history of relationships in a risky sexual context. The Center for the Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies explains that the cases “have been identified mainly in the MSM population (men who have sex with men), the transmission mechanism being in the vast majority of cases through very close physical contact, mainly in the context of high-risk sexual intercourse.

Until now, the Ministry had explained that “taking into account the limited availability of doses”, it gave priority to people with a high risk of severity or exposure. This excluded pre-exposure vaccination, although it already clarified that “it could be recommended later depending on the evolution of the outbreak and the availability of vaccines.” That decision has finally been made.