Africa’s health expert warns against vaccine hoarding due to monkeypox scare

i24NEWS - Reuters

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A nurse prepares a Covid-19 vaccine to a person at the Palais des Sports vaccination centre in Yaounde, Cameroon on January 6, 2022.
Daniel Beloumou Olomo / AFPA nurse prepares a Covid-19 vaccine to a person at the Palais des Sports vaccination centre in Yaounde, Cameroon on January 6, 2022.

‘Vaccines should go to where it is needed the most’ - Disease Control Center

The vaccine hoarding by wealthy countries that was seen during the Covid-19 pandemic shouldn’t be repeated with the current monkeypox outbreak, African health officials warn. 

“Vaccines should go to where it is needed the most and equitably, so based on risk, not on who can be able to buy it,” said Ahmed Ogwell Ouma of The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

He added that Africa practiced using smallpox vaccines against monkeypox in the past and knows how to deal with the disease without mass vaccination campaigns. 

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“The prioritization is first health workers who are in the frontline, and then the affected communities where the outbreaks are first characterized, before contemplating the general public,” said Ogwell Ouma. 

Monkeypox is endemic in Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria. However, since early May over 200 cases of the virus were confirmed in 19 European countries, as well as in the United States, Australia and Canada. Israel confirmed its first case last Friday.

Earlier on Monday, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control stated that the risk of monkeypox spreading among the general population was "very low." 

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