The Ministry of Health (MS) should know this week when it will have the first vaccines available against monkeypox.
According to the representative of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in Brazil, Socorro Gross, the phase of negotiations with the vaccine producing laboratory has ended, but the laboratory lacks a position on the delivery schedule.
“We hope to have the vaccine calendar this week,” she said. “We are unable to present a timetable [de entrega de vacina] right now. We know that a part of the vaccines will arrive soon. We expect the supplier to specify when we can transport the vaccine to Brazil,” she said at a press conference at the Ministry of Health.
The acquisition of these vaccines must be done through PAHO, since the laboratory responsible for them is in Denmark and has no representative in Brazil. Thus, the laboratory cannot request the registration of the immunizer with the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) and if the country wants to buy it, PAHO must intermediate the transaction.
Socorro Gross was accompanied by the Minister of Health, Marcelo Queiroga, and by secretaries of the portfolio. Queiroga clarified that the 50,000 doses requested by Brazil, if they arrive, will go to health professionals who deal with contaminated materials.
“If these 50,000 doses arrive here at the ministry tomorrow, they will not have the power to change the natural history of the epidemiological situation in relation to monkeypox. These vaccines, when they come, will be to vaccinate a very specific audience.”
Queiroga also does not consider, so far, declaring a Public Health Emergency of National Importance (Espin) because of the disease. According to him, the technical area of the ministry did not manifest itself in this regard.
Furthermore, according to Queiroga, health surveillance mechanisms have already been strengthened; requests for rapid test records have already been made with the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa); and other measures may be taken outside Espin’s scope, if necessary.
So far, the United States and Australia have already declared an emergency in their territories.
At the press conference, the Ministry of Health also released updated data on the disease. Worldwide, 35,621 cases were reported in 92 countries.
The countries with the most cases are the United States (11,100), Spain (5,700), Germany (3,100), the United Kingdom (3,000), Brazil (2,800), France (2, 6 thousand), Canada (1 thousand), Netherlands (1 thousand), Portugal (770) and Peru (654).
So far, 13 deaths have been recorded in eight countries. They are: Nigeria (4), Central African Republic (2), Spain (2), Ghana (1), Brazil (1), Ecuador (1), India (1) and Peru (1).
In Brazil, 2,893 cases have been confirmed so far. In addition, there are 3,555 suspected cases of monkeypox, with one death.
Among those infected, 95% are men and most are in their 30s. Despite being a disease that affects mostly men who have sex with men, the minister warns not to stigmatize the disease to this specific group or even discriminate against it.
“These references made here to men who have sex with men are purely epidemiological findings. We cannot make the mistakes of the past. We already know what happened in the 1980s with HIV/AIDS. It’s not to discriminate against people, it’s to protect them.”
Queiroga also stated that despite the name, the disease is not transmitted by monkeys and made an appeal for the non-aggression of these animals, for fear of the disease.
“Monkey smallpox is a zoonosis and the rodent is the probable origin of the zoonosis. It’s not the monkey. The monkey is as much a victim of the disease as we, who are also primates. So don’t go around killing the monkeys thinking you’ll solve the monkey pox problem.”
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