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    Italy Launches Vaccination Campaign Amid Monkeypox Surge

    The World Health Organization has declared the monkeypox virus a global health emergency.

    09 Aug 2022

    Rabat - Amid a worldwide surge in monkeypox cases, Italy launched today a vaccination campaign against the virus, in an attempt to contain its spread across the country.

    The move comes less than three weeks after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Monkeypox outbreak a global health emergency, issuing its highest alert level. The monkeypox virus is a “public health emergency of international concern,” WHO said.

    The first doses of the vaccine - Jynneos (MVA-BN) - will be given at the Spallanzani hospital in Rome, with 200 people set to get vaccinated starting Monday.

    Donated to Italy by the European Commission, the Jynneos (MVA-BN) was developed by vaccine manufacturer Bavarian Nordic and approved by the European Medicines Agency. Vaccinations are set to begin in the Italian city of Milan on Thursday, August 11.

    The Italian ministry of health ruled out the need for a mass vaccination due to “the mode of contagion and the speed of spread,” which remains fairly low.

    People eligible for the vaccine include gay and bisexual men and transgender people who have recently been involved in sexual activity with multiple partners, have a sexually transmitted disease (STD), or consume chemical drugs. Hospital staff who are in close contact with monkeypox cases are also eligible for the vaccine.

    Around 4,200 doses have been allocated to the Italian regions with the highest caseloads, noted the health ministry, with extra vaccine doses expected later in August.

    Italy’s ministry of health has reported 545 cases of monkeypox in the country, a number that remains low in comparison to other nations, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Spain. Italy recorded its first case of monkeypox on May 20, 2022.

    First discovered in Africa in the 1950s, Monkeypox spreads from one person to another via close contact, including sexual intercourse. The most common symptoms of the virus include fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain, swollen lymph nodes, and a rash that spreads across the body.


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