Monkeypox jabs available in Australia.
Australians who are “most at risk from monkeypox” will begin to be vaccinated, after it is announced that thousands of doses have arrived in the country.
In Victoria, the government has said the first vaccines for monkeypox have arrived in the state, with vaccinations to begin next week.
The state has received 3,500 doses, with more set to arrive later this year.
Victorian minister for health Mary-Anne Thomas said the vaccines are “highly effective”, with those most “at-risk” to be “targeted first”.
Key word: first.
“Initial eligibility for vaccination is limited to priority at-risk groups. However, with more vaccines set to arrive later this year, we will work with the Commonwealth to ensure all Victorians who need a vaccination get one.”
“Anyone who develops symptoms should immediately seek medical care, wear a mask and call ahead to make sure they can be isolated away from others,” the Minister said.
Meanwhile, in the state with the ‘highest number of cases’ at the moment, New South Wales, vaccinations against monkeypox began on Monday.
Similar to Victoria, vaccinations are currently limited to those deemed as “high risk”.
Although the current outbreak disproportionately affects men who have sex with men, health authorities have said anyone who has been in contact with those with symptoms to “be on alert”.
There are 2 vaccines approved for use in Australia:
It is given as 2 doses, at least 28 days apart, for people 18 years and over.
In a matter of weeks, we have gone from media reports of selected outbreaks, to a worldwide health emergency declaration, to the arrival of vaccines on our shores.
How did we end up in this position?
In June 2022, after the ‘re-emergence’ of select monkeypox cases across the world, the World Health Organization declared that the outbreak was not a health emergency after considering the label.
However, things quickly began to change.
Just a month later, on July 24th, WHO declared monkeypox a “global public health emergency”:
Following this announcement, calls for more monkeypox vaccines in Australia came days after (July 26th):
Chief Medical Officer, Professor Paul Kelly, declared the disease a “Communicable Disease Incident of National Significance” shortly after, saying the federal government has secured 450,000 vaccines.
Authorities say there are 53 cases recorded in Australia, as of 2 August 2022. Not included in the data above is a case in Western Australia last week, of a returned traveller who was put in isolation in Perth.
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