Explained | What type of vaccine will work against monkeypox?

Source: The post is based on the articleExplained | What type of vaccine will work against monkeypox?published in The Hindu on 31st July 2022.

What is the News?

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared monkeypox as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern(PHEIC).

After this, governments around the world are initiating steps towards developing or even sourcing a vaccine against monkeypox.

What is Monkeypox?

Monkeypox belongs to the orthopoxvirus, which is a genus of viruses that also includes the variola virus which causes smallpox.

It is an enveloped double-stranded DNA virus, unlike the RNA virus. This makes it far more stable and less prone to rapid mutations. 

There are two distinct genetic clades of the monkeypox virus: the central African (Congo Basin) clade and the West African clade. The Congo Basin clade has historically caused more severe disease and was thought to be more transmissible.

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Are there any vaccines against Monkeypox?

There is yet no dedicated monkeypox vaccine, but vaccinations against smallpox were found to be 85% effective in preventing smallpox, a disease eradicated in 1980. 

In 2019, the United States Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), approved the JYNNEOS Vaccine for the prevention of smallpox, monkeypox and other diseases caused by orthopoxviruses in adults 18 years of age and older and categorized as having a “high risk of infection”.

These include contacts of those who have been confirmed to have contracted a monkeypox infection, sexual partners of those confirmed with an infection and those whose immune systems are compromised.

How does JYNNEOS Vaccine work?

JYNNEOS vaccine has been developed by Danish biotechnology company, Bavarian Nordic.

It contains a live vaccinia virus that does not replicate efficiently in human cells. The vaccinia virus is the smallpox virus but is made incapable of replicating within the body. 

It is administered as two injections 28 days apart. The immune response takes 14 days after the second dose.

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