September 25, 2022

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No monkeypox vaccine in Nigeria

No monkeypox vaccine in Nigeria

The Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) has disclosed the absence of monkeypox vaccine in the country.

The agency said this in response to fears that the ongoing monkeypox pandemic could become more deadly as vaccines, treatments and tests are unavailable in much of the world, particularly in Africa.

A report published last week by the New York Times showed that African countries lack vaccines, treatments and tests for monkeypox.

But on Sunday, September 18, NCDC Chief Executive Dr Ifedayo Adetifa said, “NCDC has testing and genomic sequencing capacity for monkeypox at our National Reference Laboratory (NRL), Abuja. Monkeypox’s diagnostic capability is also being deployed at the Central Public Health Laboratory in Lagos, an NRL campus, as a first step to increasing access to testing, given the large number of cases in 2022.

“There is currently no vaccine available in the country. But official requests have been made to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United States for available vaccines (second or third generation).

“Monkeypox is a self-limiting disease, which has mainly been managed in Nigeria with supportive treatment; which means that the symptoms are treated in patients. We have identified a few groups of patients at very high risk of serious illness, hospitalization and death. As a result, NCDC is considering procuring the only drug licensed for the treatment of monkeypox, Tecovirimat (TPOXX), for high-risk groups (immunocompromised patients). »

Regarding the implications of the lack of vaccines and treatment for monkeypox in Nigeria and even in Africa, Adetifa said the NCDC’s priority was to procure a treatment option to provide those at high risk of severe symptoms, hospitalization and death, taking into account its local epidemiology and experience.

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