Acting Director of the Pharmaceutical Services of the Ministry of Health, Helena Panayiotopoulou, has said that there is supportive treatment in the event of a monkeypox outbreak in Cyprus, noting that there is no need for panic.
Replying to CNA questions, she said that Cyprus has proceeded with a declaration of participation in a joint European tender for the purchase of a vaccine, and noted that it is still not known when and how many doses will be available for Cyprus.
Noting that at the moment that there is no need for the public to panic, she said that Cyprus is ready to address any possible incident.
She pointed out that there is a licensed smallpox vaccine and that the European Medicines Agency is expected to publish its recommendations that it can also be administered against monkeypox, as it is 85% effective.
Stressing that in Europe no one knew about the existence of this disease until now, she said that at this point, the number of vaccines is limited. Panayiotopoulou noted that EU countries, including Cyprus, are waiting for the completion of vaccine production in order to receive their supplies.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health said in a press release on Monday that during a meeting last Friday, the National Advisory Committee on Vaccinations of the Ministry of Health suggested the use of the vaccinia Ankara (MVA-BN) (Imvanex) vaccine for the prevention of monkeypox, which was approved by EMA in 2013 for the prevention of smallpox and should be administered in two doses.
Moreover, this vaccine is internationally recommended for the prevention and treatment of monkeypox with reported efficacy of 85%.
It is recommended that this particular vaccine be available to specific high-risk groups, such as health professionals, who will be called upon to treat suspected or confirmed cases, before or after their exposure, and to individuals who are close contacts of a confirmed case. It is also recommended that the vaccine be administered within four days from the date of exposure.