USA – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States has issued recommendations on a smallpox vaccine, limiting its use to people who work closely with viruses such as monkeypox.

The Bavarian Nordic Jynneos vaccine will be available for certain healthcare workers and laboratory personnel at a time when monkeypox infections have spread throughout Europe, the United States, and beyond.

In the United States, the vaccine was approved in 2019 to prevent smallpox and monkeypox in high-risk adults aged 18 and older.

Earlier this week, CDC officials stated that they were in the process of distributing Jynneos vaccine doses to people who had come into contact with known monkeypox patients.

Officials reported that there were over 100 million doses of an older smallpox vaccine called ACAM2000, manufactured by Emergent BioSolutions, which has serious side effects.

Monkeypox is a mild viral infection that is endemic in some parts of Africa, but a recent outbreak in countries where the virus does not normally spread has sparked concern.

So far, there are about 300 confirmed or suspected cases in around 20 countries where the virus was not previously circulating.

The World Health Organization has urged countries to take immediate action to stop the spread of monkeypox.

According to the CDC, the recommendations of its experts are intended for clinical laboratory personnel performing diagnostic tests for orthopoxviruses such as smallpox and monkeypox, laboratory personnel conducting virus research, and healthcare workers who administer the ACAM2000 vaccine or care for patients infected with orthopoxviruses.

The publication of the vote by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which took place in November last year, formalizes the recommendations.

Both ACAM2000 and Jynneos are available for prevention of orthopoxvirus infections among at-risk people, the CDC said.

Meanwhile, countries around the world have adopted an initial US –led reform of disease outbreak rules known as the International Health Regulations (IHR).

The amendments were agreed upon at the World Health Organization (WHO) assembly, which was viewed as a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the United Nations health agency to strengthen its role following approximately 15 million deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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