Luxembourgh Times

Monkeypox vaccine to arrive in Luxembourg as infections rise

Around 1,400 doses of the jab are due in August, health ministry says, as case numbers increase by more than half in past week

One of the most common symptoms is a rash

One of the most common symptoms is a rash © Photo credit: Shutterstock

Luxembourg is to receive 1,400 doses of the monkeypox vaccine in August, the health ministry said on Friday, as latest figures showed infections in the country rose by more than half in the past week.

There were 23 cases registered in Luxembourg in the week from July 20 to 27, according to the latest figures released by the ministry, an increase of nine on the previous week. There has been a steady rise in infections since the first case was detected in the Grand Duchy just over a month ago.

Across Europe, there have been more than 13,000 infections to date, a jump of around 25% on last week, with the majority of cases in men aged 31 to 40.

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the virus a “public health emergency of international concern” in a statement last weekend. The bulk of infections are in Europe, the WHO said, with cases centred “primarily among men who have sex with men”.

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.

A first delivery of 1,400 doses of the Imvanex vaccine is expected in Luxembourg “during the month of August”, the health ministry said.

The EU ordered 109,000 doses for the bloc, with the European Commission giving its approval to the use of the vaccine, from the Danish pharmaceutical firm Bavarian Nordic on Monday. The jab has been authorised for use against human smallpox across the EU since 2013.

Earlier this week the WHO warned that vaccines alone will not stop the spread of the virus, calling on at-risk individuals to take a series of measures to protect themselves.

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.