The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said on Friday July 22 that it had officially approved the use of the Imvanex vaccine against monkeypox, the number of cases of which could trigger the World Organization’s maximum alert level. health (WHO). The agency is thus extending, because of the similarity between this virus and that of human smallpox, the use of a vaccine which has been shown to be effective against the latter. “The EMA’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use has recommended extending the indication of the smallpox vaccine Imvanex to include the protection of adults against monkeypox”the European regulator said in a statement.
The Imvanex vaccine, from the Danish company Bavarian Nordic, is administered in the United States for the prevention of human smallpox and monkeypox. In the European Union, it has been approved since 2013 only against human smallpox. In fact, it had a compassionate use in France for the prevention of monkey pox.
Increase in the number of cases
The Director General of the WHO said ” worried “ Thursday of the rising number of monkeypox cases as the organization opened a meeting of its emergency committee, seeking advice from experts. He is responsible for declaring the public health emergency of international concern, the highest level of health agency alert, based on the committee’s recommendations. During a first meeting on June 23, the majority of experts had recommended to doctor Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus not to pronounce the public health emergency of international concern.
The situation has worsened in recent weeks: now more than 15,300 cases have been recorded in seventy-one countries, according to the latest figures from the United States health authorities.
First detected in humans in 1970, monkeypox is less dangerous and contagious than its cousin smallpox, eradicated in 1980. The disease first manifests as a high fever and quickly progresses to a rash, with the formation of crusts. It is most often benign, and it generally heals spontaneously after two to three weeks.