The European Commission announced on Wednesday the purchase of 170,920 additional doses of the monkeypox vaccine from the Danish laboratory Bavarian Nordic, for delivery “by the end of the year”, bringing the number of doses to some 334,540. purchased by the EU.
“Vaccines already purchased will continue to be delivered over the coming weeks and months to Member States, as well as Norway and Iceland”, a set of countries where 18,463 cases of monkeypox had been recorded September 1, the EU executive said in a statement.
Orders from Member States
To these vaccines purchased and distributed by the EU, via its agency in charge of health emergencies Hera, are added the doses ordered directly by the Member States.
“The number of cases has fallen in the EU in recent weeks, but the threat has not passed, and we cannot let our guard down,” said Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides, promising that Brussels ” will provide member states with all the support they need”.
A distant cousin of human smallpox, monkeypox is characterized by skin rashes – which may appear on the genitals or in the mouth – and may be accompanied by bouts of fever, sore throat or pain in the joints. lymph nodes.
WHO issues high level alert
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) dashboard that lists all confirmed cases, as of August 31, there were 50,496 cases and 16 deaths recorded in 101 countries and territories.
Belgium last week recorded the first death of a patient suffering from monkeypox, who “had underlying health conditions”. In Europe, where the epidemic appeared in May, Spain had already recorded two deaths of patients with the virus at the end of July, without there either formally establishing a cause and effect link.
If in the overwhelming majority of European and American cases the patients are men who have had sex with men, they are not the only ones concerned, some cases having also been detected in children and immunocompromised people.