Does the smallpox vaccine protect against monkeypox?

Bloomberg — USA last week officially declared monkeypox as a public health emergency, something that allows you to free up funds to fight the increase in cases. In turn, the WHO also considers it an emergency.

The vast majority of cases continue to occur in men who have sex with men (although that could change). Last week, that led to questions about who should be looking for monkeypox vaccines. In response, many wonder if they are already protected by having been inoculated against smallpox, included among routine childhood vaccinations in the US until 1972. The WHO declared the world free of smallpox in 1980.

Le epidemiologist at the University of Illinois in the city of Chicago, Katrine Wallace He said this is “often applauded as one of the great achievements of public health.”

Wallace noted that “because of the similarities between the smallpox virus and monkeypox, in clinical trials it was shown that the smallpox vaccine is 85% effective in preventing monkeypox” adding that “that of the monkey is an orthopoxid virus and closely linked to the virus that causes smallpox”.

But he adds that smallpox vaccines also lose effectiveness over time.

“The Smallpox vaccination can protect you by about 85% from monkeypox infection for about three to five years“, she says. “After that time, its ability to protect you against infection decreasesbut the experts believe it would still protect against a serious disease state”.

If smallpox still existed todaythose who received vaccinations, including the entire baby boomer generation, they might have had to get a smallpox booster. But the eradication of the virus has made it unnecessary.

“Since we stopped vaccinating against smallpox decades agoit’s not entirely surprising to epidemiologists that we have a current outbreak of monkeypox because since then we have had an increasingly susceptible population”, dice Wallace.

Read more at Bloomberg.com

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