Health, which reports the second death, has only 5,300 doses, although it expects to receive 7,000 more in the coming days
The lack of vaccination is weighing down the fight against monkeypox in Spain. The Ministry of Health, which yesterday notified the second death from the disease, has provided in this first phase of the disease only 5,300 doses, received on June 28, which have barely been enough to immunize part of the 4,298 with a puncture. reported cases.
Vaccinate the infected with the complete guideline (two doses) or preventively prick their close contacts or other people at risk is not within the reach of the health services of the autonomies, which have only been seen with a handful of vials. The department of Carolina Darias has informed the communities that a new shipment will arrive in the coming days, with approximately 7,000 doses, which will bring relief, but which will continue to represent an insufficient amount to vaccinate all the people indicated in the protocols .
Although in most cases monkeypox produces mild symptoms (only 3.2% of those infected in Spain have required hospitalization), for immunosuppressed patients or with previous infections it can become a serious disease. In fact, Health yesterday registered another death from monkeypox, a 31-year-old man, in Córdoba, due to meningoencephalitis associated with the disease.
According to the Junta de Andalucía, the patient remained admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of the Reina Sofía University Hospital in this city, where it will now be determined whether the cause of death is meningoencephalitis or another pathology. This is the second death in Spain after the one reported on Friday, a man from the Valencian Community who died of encephalitis caused by the disease. These deaths are the first two in Europe from monkeypox. Until this week, the World Health Organization had only recorded five deaths, all of them in Africa. On Friday, the death of a patient in Brazil was also known.
The monkeypox vaccine, called Imvanex in Europe and Jynneos in the United States, is produced by only one laboratory in the world, the Danish Bavarian Nordic, which is now overwhelmed by the requests they receive from all governments. As it did with the covid-19 vaccines, Europe is making a joint purchase, but it is encountering enormous competition. While the European Union has formalized the acquisition of 110,000 doses, the United States has some 786,000, to which is added the 340,000 it had before the outbreak. Some 1,100,000 vials, ten times more than the entire EU. And the lack of vaccines may worsen in the coming weeks, after countries like Brazil have announced massive purchases to stop their outbreaks.
According to the protocol approved by the Ministry of Health on July 12, vaccination against monkeypox is recommended in two ways, to improve the situation of those infected and to prevent contagion in the population at risk. Thus, experts recommend post-exposure vaccination for infected people (if this group is vaccinated between four and fourteen days after infection, the risks of serious illness are reduced), for close contacts of confirmed cases, especially if are infected with HIV, or for health personnel; and pre-exposure vaccination, for people who engage in high-risk sexual practices, especially men who have sex with men.
But with just 5,300 doses available, it is impossible to reach the entire target population, which is forcing health departments to vaccinate mainly post-exposure and almost exclusively those infected. “We cannot open our hands and offer vaccines to all candidates because we would be overwhelmed. We cannot even vaccinate health workers, although this does not particularly concern us because with the appropriate protection measures, it is difficult for a professional to catch monkeypox, ”explains the person responsible for vaccination of an autonomous community.
Health has distributed the first 5,300 doses following population criteria, but above all, the number of infected. Madrid and Catalonia, the autonomies with the most cases, have received the largest amounts. The indications of the vaccine show that two doses should be injected 28 days apart, but the protocol of the Ministry of Health establishes that “at the present time only one will be administered” and that the second will be offered “when available” more vials.
All the autonomous communities have reported infections, with Madrid in the lead (1,462) and Catalonia, with a significant rebound in recent days, in second place (1,226). Behind are Andalusia (498), Valencian Community (213), Canary Islands (102), Basque Country (98), Balearic Islands (89), Aragon (45), Galicia (37), Asturias (36), Castilla y León ( 31), Castilla-La Mancha (23), Extremadura (20), Murcia (19), Cantabria (15), Navarra (8) and La Rioja (2).
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