Vaccination helps reduce severity of monkeypox symptoms: study
Getting vaccinated could help reduce the severity of symptoms of monkeypox patients, a senior virologist said.
In a Facebook post, Dr Anan Jongkaewwattana, director of the National Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology's Veterinary Health Innovation and Management Research Group, said that they could get the vaccine even after coming into contact with an infected patient, though a vaccination at that stage will not prevent the infection.
He cited a study in France that the vaccine could reduce the severity of monkeypox symptoms even after contact with patients.
The study “Breakthrough infections after post-exposure vaccination against Monkeypox” was published on the MedRxiv website (https://bit.ly/3P6sW62) on Thursday.
The study collected information from 276 high-risk contact people — 91 per cent of them came in direct contact through aerosol while 71 per cent contacted patients indirectly, such as through things that were used by patients, while 54 per cent of them contacted patients through unprotected sexual activities.
Anan explained the anomaly in the percentage numbers to some respondents assuming they may have been come into contact with a patient in more than one way.
On average, most respondents received vaccines 11 days after they came into contact with patients (the earliest was eight days while the longest period was 14 days).
They were given Imvanex vaccine. The study confirmed that they had no symptoms on the day of vaccination.
Of the sample group, 12 were found to be infected with monkeypox. Three of them were detected one day after receiving the vaccine, one person was detected on the second day and another on the third day.
Five others were detected with monkeypox four to five days after receiving the vaccine while two others were detected with the virus 22 to 25 days after being vaccinated.
The study added that one patient infected by a contaminated syringe received the vaccine immediately after the incident. However, the person was detected with monkeypox four days later.
Half of the 12 patients who were infected suffered from rash on their skin, along with other symptoms such as fever, swollen lymph nodes, and sore throat. However, their symptoms were less severe than that experienced by unvaccinated monkeypox patients.
The study team concluded that the vaccination of high-risk contact people might not prevent them from being infected but it could reduce the severity of monkeypox.