‘Ring vaccination’ to stop monkeypox infection, India likely to adapt new strategy | Picture: File Photo

India intends to develop a strategy to tackle the monkeypox virus. Instead of choosing mass vaccinations, the government intends to develop a strategy that will give immunizations to people who have close contact with infected patients and healthcare personnel.

An official who is aware of this new approach claims that India may choose to immunise certain close relatives of virus sufferers and those in the medical field. The US and a few European nations had previously adopted the “ring vaccination.”

“Ring vaccination” refers to the practise of immunising an infected person’s close contacts in order to prevent the disease from spreading. So far, none of the countries have issued a general recommendation for immunisation. Although centre haven’t made a decision yet, and may use the ring vaccination technique for monkeypox, the official added under the condition of anonymity.

Monkeypox has been confirmed in nine cases in India thus far, and the Union government feels that at this time, widespread vaccination is not necessary. The monkeypox strain was identified at the National Institute of Virology of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in Pune, which then asked pharmaceutical companies to consider options for developing vaccines and diagnostic tools.

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Given that the vaccine is not intended for widespread use, the ICMR wants private players to determine whether they want to manufacture the vaccine or not, the official continued. To be on the safe side, the official added, “the Union Health and Welfare Ministry may buy some vaccinations that are currently accessible, but will not release any directions for mass immunisation.”

Emails sent to the health ministry’s spokeswoman were still responded to. The official said, “Monkeypox requires symptomatic treatment and the World Health Organization has not authorised any drug for the treatment of monkeypox. It’s a self-limiting disease that does not require any specific treatment.”

Only one medicine, Tecovirimat, has been approved for use in treatment by the US FDA; however, Indian regulatory bodies have not done the same.

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