On Thursday, August 25, the Department of Health announced that new recommendations in relation to Ireland’s monkeypox vaccine strategy have been accepted, which will allow for a significant increase in the number of doses available.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) recently issued updated advice regarding the intradermal use of monkeypox vaccines. These recommendations were considered by the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) and passed along to the interim Chief Medical Officer (iCMO) Professor Breda Smyth who endorsed them.
The NIAC is aligning with the EMA in recommending that Ireland’s monkeypox vaccine be administered in lower quantities intradermally (between the layers of the skin) as a two-dose regimen 28 days apart. This is a temporary measure while the supply of the jab remains low, and the NIAC also recommends that appropriate research be conducted surrounding the lower doses’ efficacy and life cycle.
Great to see expanded access.?
Important to note that NIAC have recommended appropriate research infrastructure so we can best understand vaccine efficacy, duration etc. @svuh will be supporting people to link in with research studies through @CEPHR_UCD?? https://t.co/tANeUBOwJA
— Cathal Ó Broin (@CathalOBroin) August 25, 2022
Under the HSE’s original rollout plan which was unveiled last week, just 600 people were expected to receive doses of the monkeypox vaccine in the first phase. Using the new injection technique, it is expected that the number of doses available will increase five-fold.
Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly welcomed the updated strategy and thanked the NIAC for “their swift review of the latest evidence”. Professor Smyth added to this, saying, “Today is an important day as we continue to vaccinate those most at risk from monkeypox infection.”
The number of infected persons continues to rise in Ireland, with the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HSPC) stating on Wednesday, August 24, that it has been notified of 126 confirmed cases in the country. The virus is disproportionately affecting gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (gbMSM), and community members are being advised to carry out risk reduction behaviours in order to protect themselves against the spread.
HPSC has now been notified of 126 confirmed cases of #monkeypox in Ireland. Today we’ve published the latest report on confirmed cases.
— HSE Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) (@hpscireland) August 24, 2022
Globally, there have been over 45,000 confirmed cases of monkeypox relating to the current outbreak in non-endemic countries. However, at present, the number of hospitalisations and fatalities thankfully remains low.
© 2022 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.
During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.
GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.