In view of the increasing number of cases of monkeypox in Germany, the Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko) considers vaccination with a smallpox vaccine to be useful for certain risk groups. The vaccination is recommended for people after close physical contact with infected people, laboratory staff with unprotected contact with samples and homosexual men with changing partners, as Stiko announced on Thursday in Berlin. The smallpox vaccine Imvanex, which is approved in the EU, is available for vaccination.
Stiko’s corresponding recommendation for vaccination against monkeypox initially went through the prescribed commenting procedure. According to the draft decision, people aged 18 and over who have had close physical contact with an infected person, for example through sex, should be treated with the smallpox vaccine as early as possible within a period of up to 14 days. The same applies to laboratory personnel after unprotected contact with contaminated samples.
In addition, the vaccination should be offered to people with an increased risk of infection. This includes men who have same-sex sexual contact with different partners. All of the approximately 130 cases of monkeypox recorded in Germany to date affect men who have sex with men.
Since the smallpox vaccine will initially only be available to a limited extent, Stiko recommends giving it to people who are particularly at risk of infection. The basic immunization consists of two doses of vaccine 28 days apart. Those who have been vaccinated against smallpox in the past only need one dose.