Great Britain to make monkeypox vaccines available for homosexuals and bisexual men – News from Coimbra

Great Britain to make monkeypox vaccines available for homosexuals and bisexual men – News from Coimbra

The UK will start making vaccines available to some men who have sex with men and who are at higher risk of contracting the ‘monkeypox’ virus, British health authorities announced on Tuesday.

Experts are considering vaccinating some men who are at higher risk of being infected with the ‘monkeypox’ virus in humans, according to a statement from the British Health Safety Agency.

The agency has identified as the most at-risk group men who have sex with men and who have multiple partners, participate in group sex or visit places where sex takes place on the premises.

“By expanding the supply of vaccines to those most at risk, we hope to break the transmission chain and help curb the epidemic,” said Mary Ramsay, head of immunization at the British Health Agency.

Last month, a senior adviser to the World Health Organization (WHO) pointed out that the outbreak of ‘monkeypox’ outside the African continent must be extended by the sexual activity of men in ‘raves’ in Spain and Belgium.

Previously, vaccines were only available to healthcare professionals who cared for infected patients or cleaning staff who disinfected areas contaminated with the virus.

The vaccine was originally developed for smallpox, a related disease, but is believed to be about 85% effective against a disease known as monkeypox.

To date, over 99% of ‘monkeypox’ cases in the UK have occurred among men, and most occur in men who are gay, bisexual or who have sex with men.

Scientists warn that anyone who is in close physical contact with a person infected with smallpox or with their clothes or bedding is at risk of contracting the disease, regardless of sexual orientation.

There are currently 793 cases of ‘monkeypox’ in the UK, out of more than 2,100 cases in 42 countries worldwide. No deaths have been reported outside of Africa.

Portugal recorded seven more cases of human infection with the ‘monkeypox’ virus this Tuesday, meaning the total number has risen to 304, according to the Directorate-General for Health (SBS).

Until last month, ‘monkeypox’ had caused only significant epidemics in Central and West Africa, and the African continent has so far reported more than 1,500 cases and 72 suspected deaths in a separate epidemic.

Vaccines have never been used in Africa to control monkeypox.

Last week, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus described the continued spread of ‘monkeypox’ in countries that have never seen the disease as ‘unusual and worrying’.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus convened a meeting of experts on Thursday to decide whether the spread of the epidemic should be declared a global state of emergency.

According to health authorities, the clinical manifestation of ‘monkeypox’ is generally mild, with most infected people recovering from the disease within a few weeks.

Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and back pain, swollen lymph nodes, chills, exhaustion, and progression to rash.

The incubation period is usually six to 16 days, but it can be 21, and when the rash crusts fall off, the infected person is no longer contagious.

Portugal will receive 2,700 doses of ‘monkeypox’ vaccine procured by the European Commission, recently confirmed by the SBS, which is preparing a technical standard that will define how it will be used.

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