Weeks before preventive vaccinations for monkeypox can start: GGD Amsterdam
It will be a few more weeks at least before the GGD health services can start preventively vaccinating people against the monkeypox virus, Henry de Vries, a professor of skin infections who works for GGD Amsterdam-Amstelland, said to EenVandaag. There are not enough vaccines for everyone who wants one, so the GGDs need to select carefully who is at most risk, he said.
“I understand that people want a vaccine against monkeypox as soon as possible, but give us time. We have to do this carefully,” De Vries said. It takes time to prepare a vaccination round, De Vries said. “We have only been working on it for 1.5 weeks.” Getting ready for the coronavirus jabs took four months. “I don’t expect it to take that long, but count on a few weeks before we can start injections.”
One reason for the due care is the limited number of available vaccines. “We don’t have an infinite supply. We have 70,000, but everyone has to get two. So we can vaccinate about 35,000 people. That won’t be enough for everyone who wants one, so we have to make a selection,” De Vries said.
“And because we have so few vaccines, it is essential that we vaccinate the right group now. You want to vaccinate the people who have the greatest chance of contracting the virus,” he continued. “Injections are already happening, but especially for people who have been in contact with someone with monkeypox.”
On Tuesday, the public health institute RIVM announced that there were 656 confirmed cases of monkeypox in the Netherlands. The virus spreads through skin-to-skin contact. People tend not to get very sick from the virus. It causes symptoms like fever, headaches, muscle aches, and general malaise. A rash with blisters may appear a few days into the infection.