WHO Says Monkeypox Vaccine ‘Not a Silver Bullet’

“Breakthrough” cases now reported.

QUICK FACTS:
  • World Health Organization (WHO) officials have reported breakthrough cases of Monkeypox and said that the vaccination is “not a silver bullet” for those who might be exposed.
  • The WHO also said that the preliminary report on the breakthrough cases indicates that there could be an efficacy problem with vaccines.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claims that the virus might be prevented by the Jynneos smallpox vaccine.
  • However, the data on the vaccine is from a study from the 1980s where the shot was found to provide around 85% protection against the disease.
  • An official from the WHO said, “What we’re seeing are breakthrough cases, which are not really surprises, but it reminds us that vaccine is not a silver bullet.”
  • “Every person who feels that they are a risk, and appreciates their own level of risk, and wishes to lower their own level of risk have many interventions at their disposal, which includes vaccination where available but also protection from activities where they may be at risk,” the representative went on to say.
WHO LEAD’S COMMENTS:
  • Dr. Rosamund Lewis, WHO’s technical lead for monkeypox, said those who have received a prophylaxis vaccine following exposure to the virus could still be at risk.
  • “We have known from the beginning that this vaccine would not be a silver bullet, that it would not meet all the expectations that are being put on it and that we don’t have firm efficacy data or effectiveness data in this context,” Lewis explained.
  • “The fact that we’re beginning to see some breakthrough cases is also really important information because it tells us that the vaccine is not 100% effective in any given circumstance, whether preventive or post-exposure,” she continued. “We cannot expect 100% effectiveness at the moment based on this emerging information.”
BACKGROUND:
  • Skin-to-skin contact, direct contact with bodily fluids, or lesions are the main ways that monkeypox spreads. Respiratory droplets can also spread the disease.
  • Monkeypox is not believed to be spread nearly as readily as the coronavirus, despite the respiratory transmission sounding similar to COVID-19.
  • According to the CDC, people can protect themselves from the virus by avoiding skin-to-skin contact with those who have a rash that resembles monkeypox and staying away from things and materials that have been used by someone who has the disease.
  • There were 41,358 confirmed global cases of monkeypox across 94 countries, according to the CDC on Friday, with the United States accounting for 14,115 of those cases.