Updated 5 August 2022
With the monkeypox virus showing no signs of respite, as it is alarmingly spreading across the globe, health authorities in the UAE are closely monitoring the situation, assessing the need for a nationwide vaccine and other preventive measures.
So what is the current status of the monkeypox vaccine in the UAE? What are other preventive measures being implemented by the government? Keep reading to find out the latest updates on the monkeypox vaccine in the UAE.
Monkeypox vaccine in the UAE
While the UAE is yet to authorise the administration of the monkeypox vaccine in the country, the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has repeatedly advised people to follow all the safety guidelines and take preventative measures in order to protect themselves from the zoonotic virus, which has been rapidly spreading across the world.
— وزارة الصحة ووقاية المجتمع – MOHAP UAE (@mohapuae) July 29, 2022
The health authorities in the UAE are currently studying and evaluating the situation. There is no specific medication or vitamins that you should take to protect yourself from contracting the virus.
Smallpox vaccines have been found to be about 85 per cent effective against monkeypox, and if a vaccinated person is afflicted with monkeypox, they are likely to result in milder symptoms. According to the WHO, vaccination against smallpox was shown in the past to be cross-protective against monkeypox.
However, any immunity from smallpox vaccination will only be present in persons over the age of 42 to 50 years or older since smallpox vaccination programmes ended worldwide in 1980 after the eradication of smallpox. The original (first generation) smallpox vaccines from the eradication programme are no longer available to the general public. In addition, protection for those vaccinated may have waned over time.
While smallpox vaccines have been shown to be protective against monkeypox, there is currently only one vaccine approved for the prevention of monkeypox. Imvanex is the only approved vaccine against monkeypox in the US and Canada.
This vaccine is based on a strain of vaccinia virus (known generically as modified vaccinia Ankara Bavarian Nordic strain, or MVA-BN). The European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved the vaccine on 1 August 2022 and has been authorised under ‘exceptional circumstances’. This is because it has not been possible to obtain complete information about Imvanex due to the rarity of the diseases.
Monkeypox cases in the UAE
UAE has so far confirmed a total number of 16 Monkeypox infections in the country and 2 recoveries from the virus. It has been reported that the risk of getting infected or the risk of an outbreak is minimal as transmission requires close contact with the infected person or the person’s contaminated object.
You can find all the information that you need about the Monkeypox virus in the UAE in our article: Monkeypox in the UAE
Monkeypox prevention in the UAE
The Health Ministry of the UAE has put in place precise mechanisms for diagnosing suspected patients. The technical advisory team for pandemic control has also prepared a comprehensive guide for surveillance, early detection of the disease, management of clinically infected patients, and precautionary measures.
Here are the things that you can do to prevent the spread of the Monkeypox:
- Keep your hands clean by washing them for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitisers
- Prevent animal to human transmission
- Avoid any contact with wild animals
- Cook meat properly
- Avoid any objects that have been in contact with a sick animal
- Prevent human to human transmission
- Avoid contact with any person who has a rash
- Avoid contact with any object that has been in contact with a sick person