by Natalie Grover
LONDON (Reuters) – The World Health Organization (WHO) does not believe the monkeypox outbreak outside Africa will require mass vaccinations, as measures such as good hygiene and safe sexual behavior will help control its spread, an official said. senior this Monday.
In an interview with Reuters, Richard Pebody, who leads the high-threat pathogens team at WHO Europe, also said that immediate supplies of vaccines and antivirals are relatively limited.
The comments come as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said it was in the process of releasing some doses of the Jynneos vaccine for use in cases of monkeypox.
Public health officials in Europe and North America are investigating more than 100 suspected and confirmed cases of the viral infection in the worst outbreak of the virus outside Africa, where it is endemic.
The main measures to control the outbreak are contact tracing and isolation, he said, noting that it is not a virus that spreads very easily nor has it caused serious illness so far.
“We are not in a situation where we are moving towards widespread vaccination of populations,” he declared.
It is unclear what is driving the outbreak, with scientists trying to understand where the cases have come from and whether anything about the virus has changed. There is no evidence that the virus has mutated, a senior UN agency executive said separately on Monday.
(Reporting by Natalie Grover, London)
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