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Monkeypox vaccine to be rolled out in Luxembourg next week

Monkeypox vaccine to be rolled out in Luxembourg next week

by Andréa OLDEREIDE 2 min. 12.08.2022 From our online archive
From Tuesday, people can book appointments to receive a vaccine, after the arrival of 1,400 doses of the jab in the Grand Duchy
Luxembourg residents will be able to be vaccinated against monkeypox from next week
Luxembourg residents will be able to be vaccinated against monkeypox from next week
Photo credit: Shutterstock

Luxembourg is to begin rolling out the monkeypox vaccine from next week after receiving 1,400 doses of the jab, the country's health ministry said on Friday, as infections continue to rise.

From Tuesday, the vaccine will be available by appointment only at the National Infectious Diseases Service (CSMI), located at the Centre Hospitalier du Luxembourg (CHL) in Strassen. The distribution of the vaccine will be restricted to over-18s who meet certain criteria, the health ministry said, including sex workers and gay men involved in sexual relationships with multiple partners.

Each person vaccinated will receive two doses, with a gap of at least 28 days between each, while a third jab will be given to those with weaker immune systems.

The delivery of the vaccine doses, announced last month, was ordered through the EU Commission's European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Agency (HERA), established earlier this year to help the bloc better prepare for future pandemics.

The EU has so far ordered more than 160,000 doses for member states, the bloc's Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said on Friday. The European Commission gave its approval to the use of the vaccine, from the Danish pharmaceutical firm Bavarian Nordic, in July. The jab has been authorised for use against human smallpox across the EU since 2013.  

There were ten new infections in the week up to August 10 in Luxembourg, bringing the total number of cases to 41, according to the health ministry's latest figures, published on Friday. Across Europe, there were almost 18,000 registered cases by Tuesday, a rise of almost 10% in a week.

People have reported being forced to travel within Europe in order to try to obtain the monkeypox jab in countries where it is available, such as France. Authorities in some countries on the continent have struggled to keep up with demand due to severe vaccine shortages and increasing case numbers.

Monkeypox is a viral infection, and symptoms – such as a fever - start to show a week or two after contracting the virus. Patients then have a rash which can last for weeks. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the virus a “public health emergency of international concern” in a statement last weekend. Many of the cases in the current outbreak have been recorded among "men who have sex with men", the WHO has said.

People should wash their hands regularly with soap, and avoid unprotected sex and sharing bedding or towels with infected people or anyone who has been in contact with an infected person, Luxembourg’s Health Ministry has advised.  

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