An official from the World Health Organization (WHO) admitted on Saturday that everyone who received the Monkeypox vaccine is considered to be part of a “clinical study” for the purpose of data collecting so that researchers can learn more about the “effectiveness of the vaccine.”
On Saturday, WHO conducted a media briefing with WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and experts to discuss the Monkeypox outbreak.
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Tim Nguyen, the Unit Head of Global Infectious Hazards Preparedness at the World Health Organization Emergency Programme, said that the vaccine efficacy is yet unknown since it has never been used on this scale before.
“I would like to underline one thing that is very important to WHO. We do have uncertainty around the effectiveness of these vaccines because they haven’t been used in this context and in this scale before,” Tim Nguyen stressed.
Nguyen warned that anyone who received the Monkeypox vaccination is technically participating in a “clinical trial” to determine the vaccine’s efficacy.
“And therefore, when these vaccines are being delivered, that they are delivered in the context of clinical trial studies and prospectively collecting this data to increase our understanding of the effectiveness of these vaccines,” he said.
According to CDC, there are only two vaccines licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) available for “preventing monkeypox infection” – JYNNEOS (also known as Imvamune or Imvanex) and ACAM2000.
On the same day, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the monkeypox outbreak a global health emergency on Saturday just before the midterm election.
According to reports, Tedros overruled the decision of 8 members of the expert committee who voted against the declaration, only 6 are in favor.
Two sources told Reuters that members of an expert committee were split on the decision, but the responsibility for making the final decision rests with the director-general Tedros.
In New York City, dubbed as the epicenter of the monkeypox outbreak in the US, the government announced an additional monkeypox vaccine.
“The NY Health Department announced plans for its next allocation of the JYNNEOS vaccine.” NYC Health Department said in a statement. “Approximately 26,000 additional doses were delivered to New York City as part of Phase 2b from the federal government and state, and will be distributed via clinics, mass vaccination sites and community-based referrals. Individuals will be able to book appointments for July 24 through August 13.”
“The Health Department is moving quickly to distribute as many vaccine doses as we can in the most equitable way possible,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. “With cases rising, it’s clear that there is a great need for more vaccines in New York City, and we are working with our federal partners to obtain more doses.”