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No vaccinations needed for monkeypox: health ministry

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A person infected with monkeypox. WHO

No vaccinations needed for monkeypox: health ministry

Although monkeypox is spreading to more countries around the world, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has not issued a recommendation for governments to vaccinate the public against the disease as they have for Covid-19, according to Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine.

Vandine said on August 4 that only a few countries are currently working on producing a vaccine for monkeypox although this disease is not novel. She said monkeypox has been around for a long time but was not widespread until recently.

She noted that the smallpox vaccine is helpful for monkeypox patients.

“The important thing at this time is that there are no recommendations that countries should be vaccinating against monkeypox. Covid-19 is a disease that is transmitted faster via the respiratory tract, so vaccination is necessary,” she said.

Monkeypox, she explained, is not as easily transmitted as Covid-19. People are advised to monitor and follow up on any suspicious symptoms and adhere to the health ministry’s measures.

“Vaccination is recommended by the WHO only for high-risk groups and people who are found to have been in direct contact with a monkeypox carrier,” she said.

She suggested that all members of the public implement the correct health measures to minimise the risk of transmission.

As of August 3, the total number of global monkeypox cases stood at 25,054, an increase of 62.8 per cent compared to the 15,735 cases reported on July 21, while the death toll hit 11, as reported to the WHO by 85 countries, an additional 10 countries compared to the July 21 reporting.

Health minister Mam Bun Heng said the increase in transmissions, especially via sexual or close contact with an infected person, should serve as a warning for everyone, especially those who work in entertainment venues.

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