Cyprus Mail

Seven contacts of first monkeypox case vaccinated on Sunday

Άφιξη εμβολίων Ευλογιάς των Πιθήκων
The arrival of the monkeypox jabs on Saturday (CNA)

Seven people, contacts, of Cyprus’ first monkeypox case, were in the process of being vaccinated on Sunday, a day after a quantity of the jabs arrived in Cyprus.

Cyprus detected two more cases of monkeypox on Friday, a day before, 1,260 vaccines arrived on the island. Two men aged 20 and 30 who recently arrived on the island had tested positive.

Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantela said on Sunday following a memorial for five people who died during the Turkish invasion in Letymbou in 1974, that the state of health of all three patients “is good”.

Nicosia General has ben designated as the reference hospital for monkeypox patients.

The minister said the two new cases of monkeypox concerned tourists. The first case, detected a week ago concerned a sailor aged 40, he said.

“Today the first vaccinations will be given to the seven contacts of the first incident of monkeypox,” said Hadjipantela.

He thanked European Commissioner Stella Kyriakidou for helping “to have the vaccines much faster than we expected”.

He also thanked Israel’s minister of health because “he offered to supply us in the event that it was not possible to find vaccines from the European Commission.”

As for the ministry’s vaccine strategy for the new virus, Hadjipantela said a protocol was in place.

“We have to be careful and vaccinate the people who need these vaccines because we are not talking about mass vaccination as was the case with the coronavirus, but about a very reduced number of vaccines and we must use them very carefully,” he added.

Another batch of vaccines is expected to be delivered once the current number allocated to Cyprus has been depleted. The vaccine is comprised of two doses with a 28-day gap necessary between each jab.

People who will be prioritised for vaccines include healthcare workers who deal with monkeypox incidents, as well as the relatives and people who have been in contact with confirmed monkeypox cases.
Both the people who will arise from contact tracing and healthcare workers will be asked if they wish to receive the vaccine.

Asked about the coronavirus and the ministry’s plans for the new school year, Hadjipantela said the situation was still being looked at and depending on the picture, they would make the appropriate decisions.




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