EU buys additional vaccine doses against monkeypox


Brussels, Sep 27 (IANS): The European Commission said it had secured over 10,000 tecovirimat vaccines against monkeypox, despite the declining number of cases in the European Union (EU).

The Commission on Monday said the emergency procurement adds to the 334,000 vaccines already purchased by the bloc, reports Xinhua news agency.

The purchase was funded by the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA) to treat patients in the member states with immediate needs.

European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides said that while the declining number of monkeypox cases in the EU is encouraging, it does not mean that the threat has passed, and the EU should continue to focus on preparedness.

Meanwhile, Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic said: “Monkeypox is one of the priority threats identified as part of the rescEU strategic reserves. These batches of monkeypox antivirals will offer an additional level of protection for our citizens.

“The stocks will be available to the Member States on an urgent-needs-basis.”

Since the start of the monkeypox outbreak, 19,827 confirmed cases have been reported from 29 EU/EEA countries, in total 47 cases have been reported from three Western Balkan countries and Turkey, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

The five countries that have reported the most cases since the start of the outbreak are: Spain (7,083), France (3,897), Germany (3,570), the Netherlands (1,221) and Portugal (845).

Deaths have been reported from Spain (3), Belgium (1) and the Czech Republic (1).