Smallpox: The European Union is preparing joint purchases of vaccines

Smallpox: The European Union is preparing joint purchases of vaccines


The European Union is preparing group purchases of vaccines and other smallpox treatments, the European Commission said on Thursday, adding that the details will be completed in the “coming days”.

European Health Commission spokesman Stefan De Keersmaecker said the European Health Emergency Response Authority (HERA) “is working with Member States and manufacturers to provide vaccines and treatment for smallpox.”

“The exact procedures will be established with the member states over the next few days,” he added. Spain has already indicated that it intends to obtain Imvanex vaccines and Tecovirimat antivirals through group purchasing from the EU. Imvanex from the Bavarian Nordic Laboratory is a 3rd generation vaccine (non-replicating live vaccine, meaning it does not replicate in the human body), approved in Europe since 2013 and indicated against smallpox in adults.

Fever and skin rash

According to a report by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the number of confirmed cases of smallpox on Wednesday outside the country where the disease is endemic reached 219. “Most cases are young men who identify as having sex with men. . There were no deaths, “said the European agency based in Stockholm. Europe concentrates most cases with 191 cases, including 118 in EU countries.

The majority of confirmed cases are currently concentrated in three countries: the United Kingdom, the first country where unusual cases were reported in early May (71 cases), Spain (51) and Portugal (37), according to the ECDC. The EU has already played a central role in jointly purchasing billions of covid vaccines for its member states. But with chickenpox, the situation is different, according to Stefan De Keersmaecker.

Vaccination against smallpox “will be limited to very specific cases because the transmission and risk associated with the virus are not comparable to covid-19,” he said. On Monday, the ECDC ruled that the probability of infection in the general population was “very low”, but on the other hand it was “high” in people with several sexual partners.

The disease, a less dangerous cousin of smallpox, eradicated for about forty years, is endemic in 11 West African countries and Central Africa. At first, it results in a high fever and rapidly develops into a scab with the formation of scabs.



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