According to a report by El País, the Spanish Ministry of Health is finalising the details to start the purchase of thousands of doses of the vaccine against smallpox, which has also proved useful in the fight against smallpox in monkeys, a disease that has emerged in Europe in recent days.
Spain (seven cases), as well as Portugal (14 cases), are some of the countries that have already confirmed infections.
As there is no vaccine approved for this specific disease, El País states that this is the solution decided on by the Spanish government to prevent an eventual outbreak.
The vaccines ordered by Spain will not be for general distribution, but only for contacts of confirmed cases with the disease. It is what the Spaniards call the "strategy of the rings", and which was effective in controlling an outbreak of this virus in 1977. The objective is to contain the existing outbreak, at a time when, in addition to the seven confirmed cases, there are still 24 other patients in Spain with suspected infection. All the suspected cases are located in Madrid, with another in Gran Canaria.
Spain's strategy follows that of the United Kingdom, which has also started stockpiling thousands of vaccines, at a time when nine cases have already been confirmed.
Although the European Medicines Agency has not approved the monkeypox vaccine, the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended its use. “If countries have [traditional] smallpox vaccines, they should consider vaccinating high-risk contacts”.