The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has advised on intradermal use of monkeypox vaccine. EMA’s Emergency Task Force (ETF) has reviewed data showing that people who receive the monkeypox vaccine as an intradermal injection (injection into the skin) produce similar levels of antibodies to those who receive it as a subcutaneous injection (injection under the skin). As only one fifth of a dose is necessary for intradermal vaccination compared to subcutaneous injection, this new recommendation will help to protect many more people with the available doses.
More about the medicine
Imvanex prepares the body to defend itself against infection with the variola (smallpox), monkeypox and vaccinia viruses. It contains an attenuated form of the vaccinia virus called ‘modified vaccinia virus Ankara’ (MVVA), which is closely related to the smallpox and monkeypox viruses but does not cause disease in humans and cannot reproduce in human cells. Because of the similarity between these viruses and MVVA, antibodies produced against MVVA, together with other components of the immune system, are expected to protect against monkeypox, smallpox and vaccinia.
When a person is given the vaccine, the immune system recognises the virus in the vaccine as ‘foreign’ and makes antibodies against it. When the person later comes into contact with similar viruses, the antibodies and other components of the immune system will be able to kill those viruses and help protect against disease.
The marketing authorisation holder for Imvanex is Bavarian Nordic A/S.
More about monkeypox
Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus, which causes symptoms similar to those of smallpox. Monkeypox begins with fever, headache, muscle aches, exhaustion and lymph node swelling. A rash commonly develops one to three days after the onset of fever, first appearing on the face and spreading to other parts of the body, including hands and feet.
Monkeypox can be fatal, even though it is typically milder than smallpox. It is transmitted to people from various wild animals, such as rodents and primates, but can also be transmitted between people following direct or indirect contact. Current outbreaks reported since May 2022 are the first reported outside of Africa with no links to endemic areas. On 23 July 2022, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency of international concern.
More information: EMA- Press release
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