Poland to purchase monkeypox vaccines for health care staff

Darek Delmanowicz/PAP

Poland has already ordered 1,000 vaccines against monkeypox for health care service employees, the health minister has said.

"At the moment, there are around 18 confirmed cases of monkeypox in Poland," Minister Adam Niedzielski told reporters on Friday.

"This is a very low number. The threat posed by both the possibility of monkeypox transmission and, above all, its harmfulness, is not great," the minister said, adding that its symptoms had been mostly mild.

According to Niedzielski, no monkeypox-related deaths have been reported in Europe.

Monkeypox is a viral zoonotic disease that occurs primarily in tropical rainforest areas of central and west Africa and is occasionally exported to other regions. Its symptoms usually last from two to three weeks.

Niedzielski also said that, according to unofficial information, the administration of a fourth dose of Covid vaccine would be recommended for the entire population. Currently, a fourth jab is administered to senior citizens above the age of 80 and to people with immunodeficiency disorders.

Niedzielski added that two largest vaccine producers had already applied to the European Medicines Agency for approval of a new vaccine against a new Covid-19 variant, namely Omicron, and it would probably be available in September.