What is known about monkeypox vaccination in Brazil

Brazil should receive the first doses of the monkeypox vaccine (monkeypox) in the coming weeks. The country got 50,000 doses in a shipment destined for the countries of the Americas brokered by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). The batch will be enough to immunize about 25,000 people, as the vaccine schedule is two doses with an interval of about 30 days between them.

The Ministry of Health has not yet defined the start date of vaccination in the country, nor the target audience that will receive the immunizers. The World Health Organization (WHO), which declared the disease a global public health emergency on July 23, does not recommend mass vaccination of the population at this time.

Countries that have already started the monkeypox vaccination campaign, such as the United Kingdom, have prioritized health professionals who are dealing with diagnosed patients, men who have sex with men at high risk of exposure to the virus and people who have had close contact with an infected patient.

Vaccination against monkeypox is an indicated strategy for both prevention and post-exposure prophylaxis. This means that it works to teach the body to fight the virus before an infection and it also helps build up defenses after exposure to the virus.

Vaccines available

There are currently two vaccines in use against monkeypox in the world: Jynneos, made by the Danish pharmaceutical company Bavarian Nordic, and the ACAM2000, made by the French company Sanofi.

Although the Ministry of Health does not confirm which immunizer will be applied in Brazil, it is likely that it is Jynneos, also known as Imvamune or Imvanex, as it is the only one recognized by the WHO.

Confirmed cases

Brazil recorded 1,721 confirmed cases of monkeypox until the last update from the Ministry of Health, made on Thursday (4/8). The state with the highest number of infected is São Paulo (1,298), followed by Rio de Janeiro (190), Minas Gerais (75) and the Federal District (38).

According to the website Our World in a Data, more than 27,000 cases of the disease have been confirmed worldwide since the beginning of the current outbreak.

Transmission and symptoms

The transmission of the virus occurs mainly through contact with respiratory secretions, skin lesions of infected people or objects that have been used by patients. So far, there is no confirmation that sexual transmission occurs, but the hypothesis is being raised by scientists.

The incubation period for the virus ranges from seven to 21 days. Symptoms usually appear 10 or 14 days after the time of infection. The first signs are fever, malaise and pain. About three days later, patients start to have blisters on their body – similar to chickenpox. The illness ends in a period of between three and four weeks.

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