Brazil begins mpox vaccine rollout

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The Brazilian Health Ministry announced on Monday that it will distribute around 47,000 doses of the mpox vaccine to states and municipalities. Jair Bolsonaro’s administration bought the doses last year, but assigned them “no use or strategy,” according to the ministry’s press office.

The vaccine’s target groups include HIV/AIDS patients with low lymphocyte count, health professionals, and people who have had recent contact with bodily fluids and secretions of suspected or confirmed cases.

According to the ministry, “the current epidemiological scenario of mpox presents a progressive decrease in the number of cases worldwide, including in Brazil. The main strategy for containing the disease is case identification and contact tracing”.

15 people in a total of seven Brazilian states have died from mpox, according to official data. Health authorities confirmed there were a total of 10,247 cases by late January 2023 — almost 40 percent of all reported infections were in the state of São Paulo.

The Jynneos/Imvanex vaccine, produced by Danish pharmaceutical firm Bavarian Nordic, was greenlit by Brazil’s federal health regulator Anvisa back in August.

The federal government also started a prevention campaign on mpox prevention in August. The Health Ministry has not announced plans for a similar campaign to raise awareness about the vaccine.

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