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Monkeypox vaccines: India puts emergency buying on hold for now – here’s why

According to those with knowledge of the situation, India has chosen to delay purchasing the monkeypox vaccine on an emergency basis for the time being because the number of cases reported across the nation has not increased. Only 10 cases of the viral sickness have been reported in the nation thus far.

In August, India announced the death of its first monkeypox victim, a young man in the southern state of Kerala, the outbreak’s only other known fatality. Kerala authorities separated 21 people who had been in contact with the deceased 22-year-old male.

Also Read: Monkeypox outbreak can be eliminated in Europe, says WHO

Serum Institute of India, one of the first organisations to express interest in bringing the monkeypox vaccine into India, put its proposal on hold last week, according to CEO Adar Poonawalla.

“The need for a vaccine for monkeypox is debatable considering the spread of the infection in the country has been under control,” Poonawalla said on September 1.

Also Read: No sexually transmitted infection in 5 monkeypox cases in Delhi: Study

Poonawalla earlier indicated that his company was in talks with Danish company Bavarian Nordic, the only one in the world to develop a licenced vaccine against monkeypox, to secure a limited supply for India after several cases had been detected in July. Additionally, he said that the vaccine could be produced in India under the guidance of the government if it were necessary.

Monkeypox vaccine would not be urgently purchased at this time because the situation in India is already under control, an official who spoke on the condition of anonymity informed HT. Despite this, the government is keeping a close eye on things and is perfectly equipped to tackle the issue should a surge be noticed in the near future.

Also Read: At least 30 children test positive for monkeypox in US

The Joe Bideen administration is requesting $4.5 billion from the US Congress to support its ongoing monkeypox outbreak response activities. According to officials, significant reserves from the national stockpile have already been used to produce more than 1.1 million vials of vaccine.

Even though the supplies will probably be exported, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is embarking on a project to help local vaccine researchers produce the monkeypox vaccine locally.

(With agency inputs)

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