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News Article

Monkeypox Cases Decrease, Raising Hope for its Control

By Rodrigo Andrade | Tue, 08/30/2022 - 12:48

Monkeypox cases seem to have reached their peak in the EU, which holds over two thirds of the global 22,000 cases. The World Health Organization (WHO) calls this a cause for hope, as the outbreak can be stopped if the necessary actions are taken. 

“We believe we can eliminate sustained human-to-human transmission of monkeypox in the region,” said Hans Kluge, Regional Director the EU, WHO. “To move towards elimination... we need to urgently step up our efforts,” he added, according to Reuters. 

France, Germany, Portugal, Spain and the UK have shown sustained week-on-week decreases in monkeypox cases despite the high demand and low availability of vaccines. There is not a clear answer as to why cases are declining, but this shift is taking place just before the application of the Bavarian Nordic’s monkeypox vaccine, said Catherine Smallwood, Senior Emergency Officer, WHO. She suggests that intervention and behavioral changes in the most vulnerable communities have been key to this decrease. 

Vaccine supply was low due to the relatively small production capacity of pharmaceutical companies. Thus, the Bavarian Nordic Jynneos monkeypox vaccine is stretching its existing stock. Regulators in the US, the EU and the UK recently approved the intradermal administration of this vaccine, which allows for the division of a single dose into five smaller portions, increasing the number of available doses five times, as reported by MBN. 

The US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) authorized the intradermal application of the Bavarian Nordic vaccine due to the rapid increase in demand. “The FDA quickly explored other scientifically appropriate options to facilitate access to the vaccine for all impacted individuals. By increasing the number of available doses, more individuals who want to be vaccinated against monkeypox will now have the opportunity to do so,” said Robert Califf, Commissioner, FDA. 

To guarantee equitable access to the vaccine in the Americas, the Boards of Directors of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) convened a session with its member states to provide guidelines and recommendations for the countries of the region. The organization seeks a coordinated response and support from member states to take the necessary actions to gain access to the vaccine through its Revolving Fund. 

In Mexico, 386 monkeypox cases have been reported as of Aug. 23, 2022. A further 862 probable cases have been identified. Monkeypox cases have occurred in 24 states, with Ciudad de Mexico reporting 209 infections, Jalisco 69 and State of Mexico 21.

Photo by:   Mabel Amber
Rodrigo Andrade Rodrigo Andrade Junior Journalist & Industry Analyst