EU approves Danish vaccine against monkeypox

The European Commission has agreed to expand the use of the Danish drug group Bavarian Nordic’s vaccine against monkeypox, the company announced Monday.

The green light was given from Brussels after the European Medicines Authority (EMA) granted its approval Friday for the use of the Imvanex vaccine against monkeypox.

This vaccine has been approved since 2013 in the European Union against human smallpox.

It comes after WHO launched its highest level of alert Saturday in an attempt to contain an outbreak of monkeypox that has so far infected nearly 17,000 people in 74 countries, mostly in Europe.

The commission’s green light is valid in all EU member states as well as in Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway.

Imvanex is marketed as Jynneos in the United States, where it has been approved to combat monkeypox since 2019. This makes it the only vaccine licensed to prevent the disease.

The company announced it received a new US order in mid-July that brings the number of doses ordered in the US to 7 million.

It also announced a request for 1.5 million doses from an unnamed European country last week.

The first cases of monkeypox in humans were discovered in 1970, and it is less severe and contagious than human smallpox that was eradicated in 1980.

The disease is transmitted through close contact, and the patient usually recovers without intervention after two or three weeks.

The disease, which until now was endemic in a few African countries, appears as a rash on the genitals or in the mouth and can be accompanied by bouts of fever, sore throat, or pain in the lymph nodes.

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