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By Dr Ananddeep Agarwal
Consultant Physician and Diabetologist
Published on 16/08/2022

Monkeypox cases are popping up across the world at an alarming rate. To face this new medical problem, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended vaccination for those individuals exposed to infected people or have a high risk of exposure, including healthcare personnel, laboratory technicians, and people with several sexual partners. But, a question frequently comes to our mind: how effective is the Monkeypox vaccine? Let’s discuss it:

How effective is the vaccine?

The virus that causes Monkeypox is similar to the smallpox virus, and the smallpox vaccine also provides protection from this disease.. According to a report, the smallpox vaccine can be effective in preventing monkeypox disease by at least 85%. After exposure to the viral infection, vaccination may help to prevent or lessen the severity of the illness.

Monkeypox

Two vaccines can be used to prevent the Monkeypox virus infection:

  • The FDA licenses JYNNEOS (known as Imvanex or Imvamune) to prevent both Monkeypox and smallpox infection.
    The vaccine uses a weakened virus and is administered in two doses, four weeks apart. It is approved for adults over 18 years who are at a higher risk of contracting Monkeypox or Smallpox. As per the latest news, the JYNNEOS vaccine has been exported and used in the United States. It usually takes nearly 14 days after getting the second dose of JYNNEOS vaccine to reach its maximum immune protection.
  • The ACAM2000 vaccine can be used as an alternative to JYNNEOS. The ACAM2000 is a single-dose vaccine, and it takes four weeks after getting vaccinated to get maximum immune protection. But, it can have more side effects than the JYNNEOS vaccine, and it is not recommended for people with severely weakened immune systems and other health problems.
    ACAM2000 is a second-generation smallpox vaccination that is effective against monkeypox disease. Because the two diseases are connected and both caused by orthopoxviruses, this treatment is possible. In comparison to JYNNEOS, ACAM2000 vaccination is more widely available. However, it is still the second choice for the monkeypox response because it has an unsuitable side effect for most individuals.
    These monkeypox vaccinations should only be given by or under the guidance of a doctor or an authorized healthcare provider.

Who needs a monkeypox vaccine?

Most people don't need the monkeypox vaccine immediately as monkeypox disease has not yet been widespread like Covid-19. This infection doesn't easily spread unless one has intimate contact with an infected person.

The monkeypox vaccination is given under the following conditions:

  • If the person is in contact with an infectious person or if contact tracing indicates that they may have been exposed.
  • If the person had intimate contact with a monkeypox patient within the last two weeks.

Should we worry about monkeypox disease?

The main concern is that the monkeypox virus will spread and become endemic. The monkeypox disease cases have been reported and must be controlled to prevent it from spreading. By learning a lesson from the Covid-19 wave, we should stop this viral disease from spreading its tentacles, build a strong healthcare system and educate the public about this infection.

The primary preventative method for monkeypox involves increasing public awareness of the risk factors and informing individuals about the steps they may take to lessen virus exposure.

Conclusion

One should isolate themselves if they experience monkeypox symptoms, such as a rash, swollen lymph nodes, body pains, fever, etc.

A monkeypox vaccine should be administered four days after exposure to the viral infection. If taken between 4 and 14 days after exposure, it may not prevent the infection but may lessen the disease's symptoms.

Stay calm and take precautions to keep away the monkeypox viral disease.


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