EU OKs Smallpox Vaccine For Use Against Monkeypox

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has approved using smallpox vaccines to fight and prevent monkeypox virus infections.

Biotechnology company Bavarian Nordic said Wednesday that EMA approved the manufacture and marketing of smallpox vaccine MVA-BN (Imvanez) to Europe upon the assessment of the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use.

Amid EU’s vaccine approval, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the healthcare community still lacks data on the effectiveness of vaccines against the monkeypox virus.

“Vaccines will not give instant protection against infection or disease and can take several weeks,” Ghebreyesus said.

Ghebreyesus urged people vaccinated with MVA-BN to avoid close contact, including sex, with others at risk of the monkeypox virus.

Hans Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe, said Tuesday that the public should take action and not treat vaccines as a “silver bullet” that stops the spread of the monkeypox virus.

Ghebreyesus said that countries rolling out vaccines for monkeypox should gather and share data on the effectiveness of such health measures. He added the WHO has been developing a research framework to help countries generate information about vaccines for monkeypox.

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