Catalonia launches monkeypox vaccination campaign

Catalonia launches monkeypox vaccination campaign

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The vaccine will be administered at the BCN Checkpoint, Barcelona Clinic and STI Unit Drassanes-Vall Hebron and these centers will contact people directly to make the appointment.

The Minister of Health of Catalonia, Carmen Cabezas, has announced that the Ministry of Health is launching the vaccination campaign against monkeypox (monkeypox). In this sense, he explained that it is mainly administered to people who are at high risk of contracting the disease, that is, who maintain high-risk sexual practices included in PrEP programs for HIV or with HIV infection, and that meet the criteria agreed at the national level. .

Carmen Cabezas has also explained that close contacts of confirmed cases are vaccinated and that if they contract the disease they may have more complications: this is the case for children, pregnant women and those who are immunocompromised. In these cases, the vaccine is given for the first four days after exposure to keep the disease from developing.

The monkeypox vaccine is administered at three centers by appointment. These are BCN Checkpoint, the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona; and the Drassanes-Vall Hebron STI unit. The three centers have already started contacting people directly to set up the appointment.
Catalonia has received a total of 1,643 vaccines of the 5,300 doses that the Ministry of Health currently has, the first shipment of the 12,000 planned that it must receive from the European Union.

Reported Cases
The Minister of Public Health has also stated that as of July 20, a total of 1,407 suspected or probable cases of monkeypox had been reported to the Catalonia Epidemiological Surveillance Network (XVEC), of which 1,025 have been confirmed so far.

Most of the confirmed cases are males between the ages of 20 and 60 who showed symptoms between May 5 and July 16, 2022. Almost all cases presented with fever, asthenia, lymphadenopathy and rash. The lesions were located in the genital, perioral and/or perianal areas. The most likely mechanism of transmission was sexual contact.

The Medical Director of BCN Checkpoint – BCN PrEP-Point also took part in the press conference. Pep Coll has dedicated part of the exhibition to infection prevention and control with measures such as “early detection of cases; Isolation, identification and contact tracing”.

Other concrete measures would be sexual abstinence or reducing the number of sexual partners; the use of condoms (as another measure to prevent sexually transmitted diseases); not sharing items, such as towels, that have been used by a person who has tested positive for monkeypox or who has been in close contact; both exposure and post-exposure vaccination; and in relation to medical staff coming into contact with patients, one of the protective measures would be the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

At the same time, the Minister of Health has stressed the importance of working with institutions and informing the population, especially the most vulnerable, to avoid stigma. In this sense, following the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO), the Ministry of Health has carried out various communication actions to inform citizens about monkeypox (MPX), the symptoms and the routes of transmission in order to prevent contagion. These materials have been agreed with companies and professionals.

The dissemination is carried out through dating applications such as Tinder or Grindr, where they have been running since June 14, and also through social networks, both in those of the Ministry of Health and those of the entities with which they collaborate. In addition, footage has been distributed to hospitals where cases have been identified and to institutions where health promotion and prevention work is being carried out.

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