According to the Deutsche Aidshilfe (DAH), many more vaccine doses are needed to get the monkeypox infection under control in Germany than has been ordered by the federal government to date.
“We need around one million doses of vaccine in Germany to offer half a million people permanent vaccination protection. It must not happen that vaccination-motivated gay men are refused the vaccination,” said Axel Jeremias Schmidt, epidemiologist and DAH consultant for medicine and health policy, according to a statement on Friday.
The federal government must order as soon as possible, short-term purchases are hardly possible in the near future.
According to the Ministry of Health, the federal government has so far ordered 240,000 vaccine doses, of which 40,000 have initially been delivered. 200,000 are to follow by the end of September.
But that’s not enough, says Schmidt: “We don’t assume that the epidemic will be over once the doses available to date have been vaccinated.” As long as there are monkeypox infections, people who are at risk should be offered a vaccination.
According to the Robert Koch Institute, 2,595 monkeypox infections were reported in Germany as of Friday. The Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko) recommends vaccination against monkeypox for certain risk groups and people who have had close contact with infected people.
She sees an increased risk of infection in men who have same-sex sexual contact with changing partners.
For classification, the epidemiologist Schmidt said he estimates the number of homosexual and bisexual men who have sex with changing partners to be more than half a million. Although not everyone is interested in vaccination, there are also people who are only temporarily in Germany.
In addition, it cannot be ruled out that the monkeypox virus will soon also affect other population groups, he emphasized.
The aim must be to reduce the number of infections and get them under control permanently, said Ulf Kristal from the DAH board. “This is only possible if as many people as possible who are at risk of infection are vaccinated, in Germany and in all other affected countries.”