EU watchdog recommends approving smallpox vaccine for monkeypox – Expat Guide to the Netherlands

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The European Union’s medicines watchdog on Friday recommended for approval the use of a smallpox vaccine to treat monkeypox, which could be classified by the World Health Organization as a global health emergency.

“The EMA’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has recommended extending the indication of the smallpox vaccine Imvanex to include the protection of adults against monkeypox,” the European Medicines Agency said in a statement. communicated.

Imvanex, developed by Danish drugmaker Bavarian Nordic, has been approved in the EU since 2013 for the prevention of smallpox.

It has also been considered a potential monkeypox vaccine due to the similarity between monkeypox virus and smallpox virus.

Monkeypox is less dangerous and less contagious than smallpox, which was eradicated in 1980.

The first symptoms of monkeypox are fever, headache, muscle aches and back pain for five days.

Rashes then appear on the face, palms of the hands and soles of the feet, followed by lesions, pimples and finally scabs.

On Thursday, monkeypox experts discussed whether the WHO should classify the outbreak as a global health emergency – the highest alarm it could sound.

It was the second meeting of the WHO’s emergency committee on the virus and was called after nearly 15,400 cases were reported in 71 countries, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. .

An upsurge in monkeypox infections has been reported since early May outside countries in West and Central Africa where the disease has long been endemic.

The EMA’s CHMP carries out a scientific assessment of the application and gives a recommendation on whether or not the drug should be marketed.

However, under EU law, the EMA does not have the power to authorize marketing in individual EU countries.

The European Commission is the authorizing body and takes a legally binding decision based on the recommendation of the EMA.

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