South African experts don’t see need for mass monkeypox vaccination

This electron microscopic (EM) image depicted a monkeypox virion, obtained from a clinical sample associated with the 2003 prairie dog outbreak. It was a thin section image from of a human skin sample. On the left were mature, oval-shaped virus particles, and on the right were the crescents, and spherical particles of immature virions. High Resolution: Click here for hi-resolution image (5.21 MB) Content Providers(s): CDC/ Cynthia S. Goldsmith Creation Date: 2003 Photo Credit: Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regnery

South African disease experts said Wednesday that they did not see a need for a mass vaccination campaign against monkeypox.

At the same time, they equally didn’t believe that cases would explode in the same way as COVID-19.

“At this time we don’t need mass vaccinations for monkeypox. There’s a lot for us to investigate on the epidemiological point of view,” said Adrian Puren, executive director of South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD).

Jacqueline Weyer, from the NICD’s Centre for Emerging, Zoonotic and Parasitic Diseases, said that so far there was “nothing strange, nothing that we haven’t seen before” in the monkeypox outbreak outside of Africa, “except that it’s now happening in a different place.”

She said monkeypox was not as highly transmissible as the virus that causes COVID-19.

The country has not recorded any confirmed or suspected cases of monkeypox, a usually mild viral infection that is endemic in parts of West and Central Africa.

However, health authorities are vigilant after more than 200 suspected and confirmed cases of the virus have been detected in at least 19 countries since early May.