The World Health Organisation has updated their guidance on Monkeypox vaccinations today. They have stated categorically that, at this time, mass vaccination is not recommended (their emphasis).
Among the recommendations are:
- Mass vaccination is not required nor recommended for monkeypox at this time.
- For contacts of cases, post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is recommended with an appropriate second- or third-generation vaccine, ideally within four days of first exposure to prevent onset of disease.
- Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is recommended for health workers at risk, laboratory personnel working with orthopoxviruses, clinical laboratory staff performing diagnostic testing for monkeypox, and others who may be at risk as per national policy.
- Vaccination programmes must be backed by thorough surveillance and contact-tracing, and accompanied by a strong information campaign, robust pharmacovigilance, ideally in the context of collaborative vaccine effectiveness studies with standardized protocols and data collection tools.
- Decisions on use of smallpox or monkeypox vaccines should be based on a full assessment of risks and benefits on a case-by-case basis.
The WHO have also stated today that they are considering changing the name of Monkeypox, and will be arranging a conference to discuss whether Monkeypox should be designated as a PHEIC, or Public Health Emergency of International Concern. They are also investigating a possible Monkeypox death in Brasil, which would be the first death from the disease outside of Africa during the current outbreak.
An overview of the latest WHO Monkeypox vaccination recommendations can be found here
Image by John Keith (Photographer) Public Domain,