Poland applies for 1,100 doses of monkeypox vaccine - health minister

Paweł Supernak/PAP

A contract has been signed for almost 100,000 doses of monkeypox vaccine Europe-wide, of which Poland has sought 1,100 doses for medical personnel dealing with patients, the health minister announced on Monday.

Adam Niedzielski was asked at a press conference about the EU's purchase of smallpox vaccines, which also protect against monkeypox, and who would be first to be vaccinated in Poland.

"Last week, I had the pleasure of being at a meeting of EU health ministers in Luxembourg and information was presented to us there by Commissioner (for Health and Food Safety Stella) Kyriakides and the head of HERA (the European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority - PAP), the agency dealing with crisis response for epidemics," Niedzielski said.

"A contract has been signed for close to 100,000 vaccines on the pan-European scale; we have applied for 1,100 earmarked for personnel who deal with patients," he added.

The minister admitted that in Poland there are six confirmed monkeypox patients and five hospitalised. "I know that a further six people are in the process of confirmation. So there will be around 11 people," Niedzielski said.

People infected with monkeypox, as well as suspected cases, are compulsorily hospitalised in Poland under an amendment to the rules on contagious diseases introduced in May.

Monkeypox is a rare viral animal disease which usually appears in western and central Africa. Symptoms include fever, headaches and a skin rash which starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body. Cases have recently been recorded in Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Belgium, Italy, Portugal, Great Britain, Austria and Sweden.