Smallpox Vaccine Used To Treat England’s Monkeypox Cases
Public Health England (PHE) said in a Bavarian Nordic press release that the IMVANEX smallpox vaccine will be used to vaccinate healthcare workers treating English patients and those involved in the current monkeypox cases.
Monkeypox is a febrile rash illness caused by the monkeypox virus.
At this time, there are no PHE approved vaccines for the prevention of monkeypox. IMVANEX is not officially approved for commercial treatment of monkeypox at this time.
However, in the past when smallpox vaccines were routinely administered, they were shown to be highly efficacious in preventing monkeypox, said this press release.
Bavarian Nordic said it will work closely with PHE to ensure a sufficient and rapid supply of additional vaccines, should the need arise.
Only a few days after the first case, a 2nd unrelated case was reported in the UK.
According to PHE, both patients are believed to have acquired the infection in Nigeria, which recently experienced a large outbreak of monkeypox.
Monkeypox is similar to human smallpox, although it is less transmissible human-to-human and less deadly with an estimated fatality rate of 1-10 percent.
Currently, a field study is ongoing to evaluate IMVANEX (also known as IMVAMUNE) for the prevention of monkeypox in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where the virus is naturally occurring and is known to infect humans.
The study, which is conducted in collaboration between Bavarian Nordic, local health authorities and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) who is also the sponsor of the study, has enrolled over 1,000 healthcare and frontline workers who in their daily work are at high risk of being infected with the virus.
Additional information on monkeypox, the reported cases in England, and the ongoing clinical study in the Democratic Republic of Congo is available at these links:
Bavarian Nordic is a fully integrated biotechnology company focused on the development of innovative and safe therapies against cancer and infectious diseases.