Africa CDC Warns on Vaccine Hoarding Amid Monkeypox Outbreak

Africa CDC Warns on Vaccine Hoarding Amid Monkeypox Outbreak (News Central TV)

On Thursday, the acting director of Africa’s top public health agency, Centers of Disease Control, CDC, warned that the current monkeypox outbreak should not result in vaccine hoarding, as seen in wealthier nations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Monkeypox, a typically mild viral infection, is endemic in Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Nigeria.

However, more than 200 suspected and confirmed cases of the virus have been detected in at least 19 countries since its outbreak in early May, mostly in Europe. So far, no fatalities have been reported.

“Vaccines should go to where it is needed the most and equitably, so based on risk, and not on who can be able to buy it,” Ahmed Ogwell Ouma of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention told a news conference.

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Ahmed Ogwell Ouma, Africa Centres for Disease and Control

The World Health Organization has previously warned wealthy countries against hoarding COVID-19 vaccines and threatening supplies to poorer countries with low vaccination rates.

Ogwell Ouma’s remarks came just a day after South African disease experts said there was no need for global mass vaccination campaigns against monkeypox and that vaccines should be prioritised for other deadly infections.

Africa has previously used smallpox vaccines to manage monkeypox outbreaks, he said, urging the general public to avoid looking for those vaccines and squeezing supplies for those most vulnerable.

“The prioritisation is first health workers who are in the frontline, and then the affected communities where the outbreaks are first characterised, before contemplating the general public,” Ogwell Ouma said.

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