In light of the growing instances of monkeypox across the world Health Organisation (WHO) issued an advisory on vaccination against the disease. The WHO stated that “the goal of the global outbreak response for monkeypox is to control the outbreak, and to effectively use strong public health measures to prevent the onward spread of the disease.” In addition, noting that the need isn’t for the mass vaccine and that there is no need for mass vaccination, it said “Judicious use of vaccines can support this response.”
WHO has a monkeypox guideline vaccination. Information is available here:
- Mass vaccinations are not necessary and are not suggested for monkeypox at the present moment.
- In the case of contacts with cases, Post-exposure anaphylaxis (PEP) is advised with the appropriate second or third-generation vaccine. This should be done within four days after the initial exposure to avoid any onset of illness.
- Prophylactic treatment for pre-exposure (PrEP) is advised for health workers who are at risk, lab personnel dealing with orthopoxviruses as well as clinical laboratory personnel performing diagnostic tests for monkeypox, and any other individuals who could be at risk according to the national guidelines.
- The vaccination programs should be backed by an extensive surveillance program and contact tracing. It should also be supported by a robust public education campaign, and strong pharmacovigilance, especially when it is part of studies on the effectiveness of vaccines in collaboration using standard protocols and tools for collecting data.
- Smallpox or monkeypox vaccines must be based on a thorough evaluation of the risks and benefits on a case-by-case basis.
WHO might be thinking about a name change for monkeypox?
In the meantime, WHO is weighing an official name change to monkeypox due to concerns over discrimination and stigmatization associated with the disease.
More than 30 scientists from around the world have said that the monkeypox designation can be discriminatory as well as stigmatizing and that there is an “urgent” need to rename the label. The current moniker isn’t in line with WHO guidelines which advice against the geographical region and animal names, according to a spokesperson.
The idea is reminiscent of a controversy that was triggered after the WHO took action quickly to change the name SARS-CoV-2 following the fact that people across the world were referring to the virus as China or Wuhan virus, in the absence of an official name. The source of the virus is an animal. monkeypox that has been observed in a range of mammals, is unidentified.
“In the context of the current global outbreak, continued reference to, and nomenclature of this virus being African is not only inaccurate but is also discriminatory and stigmatizing,” the scientists’ association said in a post online.
As of now, 1,300 people have been identified as having the monkeypox virus across more than twenty-six countries. Researchers from the WHO and other organizations have said that there’s not been much international interest in the virus before it was discovered in countries other than Africa. Each case of monkeypox “should be treated with the same attention and sense of urgency as the ones now in European countries and North America,” they said.
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