In the race for monkeypox vaccines, experts see a repeat of COVID-19
The decline by rich countries to share doses of monkeypox vaccines with Africa could leave millions of people unprotected against a more dangerous version of the disease and risk continued spillovers of the virus into humans, public health officials have warned.
According to critics, there could be a repeat of the catastrophic problems of inequity seen during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The mistakes we saw during the COVID-19 pandemic are already being repeated,” said Dr Boghuma Kabisen Titanji, an assistant professor of medicine at Emory University.
“The African countries dealing with monkeypox outbreaks for decades have been relegated to a footnote in conversations about the global response,” Titanji said.
There have been more than 21,000 monkeypox cases reported in nearly 80 countries since May, so far, with about 75 suspected deaths in Africa, mostly in Nigeria and Congo”, Titanji said.
Unlike previous campaigns to stop COVID-19, Scientists think mass vaccination against monkeypox won’t be necessary, adding that targeted use of the available doses, along with other measures, could shut down the expanding epidemics recently designated by the World Health Organization as a global emergency.
On Thursday, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called for the continent to be prioritized for vaccines, saying it was again being left behind.