Home / Science / Health /  Monkeypox vaccine IMVANEX approved in Europe: 10 things to know

Danish biotechnology company Bavarian Nordic said on Monday the European Commission had given permission for its Imvanex vaccine to be marketed as protection against monkeypox, as recommended last week by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Globally, over 16,000 cases of monkeypox have been reported from 75 countries.

In the current outbreak in countries and amongst the reported monkeypox cases, transmission appears to be occurring primarily through close physical contact, including sexual contact. Transmission can also occur from contaminated materials such as linens, bedding, electronics, clothing, that have infectious skin particles

"The availability of an approved vaccine can significantly improve nations' readiness to fight emerging diseases, but only through investments and structured planning of the biological preparedness," Bavarian Chief Executive Paul Chaplin said.

Imvanex vaccine: 10 points

Imvanex is a non-replicating smallpox vaccine developed in collaboration with the U.S. government to ensure the supply of a smallpox vaccine for the entire population, including immunocompromised individuals.

The approval is valid in all European Union Member States as well as in Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway, Bavarian Nordic said in a statement.

The approval comes just one day after the World Health Organization issued a high-level alert declaring the rapidly spreading monkeypox outbreak as a global health emergency.

The vaccine gained regulatory approvals in Canada (marketed as Imvamune) and the U.S. (marketed as Jynneos) where the approvals have been extended to include the monkeypox indication as the only vaccine obtained this to-date.

The vaccine was approved by the European Commission in 2013 for immunization against smallpox in adults aged 18 years and older.

Imvanex can be used as active immunisation against smallpox, monkeypox and disease caused by vaccinia virus in adults.

Bavarian's vaccine, the only one to have won approval for the prevention of monkeypox disease in the United States and Canada, has in the EU so far only been approved to treat smallpox.

Monkeypox infection is genrally treated with lotions and fever medications and if there is any blood infection or viral pneumonia, adequate medications are administered.

Monkeypox virus is transmitted from infected animals to humans via indirect or direct contact. 

Human-to-human transmission can occur through direct contact with infectious skin or lesions, including face-to-face, skin-to-skin, and respiratory droplets.

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