Catalonia launches monkeypox vaccination campaign

The vaccine is administered at the BCN checkpoint, at the Barcelona clinic and at the Drassanes-Vall Hebron STI unit and these will be the same centers that will contact people directly to schedule the appointment.

The Public Health Secretary of Catalonia, Carmen Cabezas, has announced that the Ministry of Health is launching the vaccination campaign against monkey pox (Monkeypox). In this sense, he explained that it will be administered mainly to people at high risk of contracting the disease, that is, who maintain high-risk sexual practices included in PrEP programs for HIV or infected with HIV, according to state-agreed criteria. .

Carmen Cabezas also explained that close contacts of confirmed cases will be vaccinated and that if they contract the disease they could have more complications: this is the case of children, pregnant women and immunocompromised people. In these cases, the vaccine is given within the first four days after exposure so that the disease does not develop.

The monkeypox vaccine will be administered at three centers by appointment. These are BCN Checkpoint, Hospital Clínic de Barcelona; and the Drassanes-Vall Hebron STI Unit. The three centers have already started contacting people directly to schedule the appointment.
Catalonia has received a total of 1,643 vaccines out of the 5,300 doses currently available to the Ministry of Health, the first delivery of the planned 12,000 it is due to receive from the European Union.

reported cases
The Public Health Secretary also explained that as of July 20, a total of 1,407 suspected or probable cases of monkeypox have been notified to the Epidemiological Surveillance Network of Catalonia (XVEC), of which 1,025 to date have been confirmed.

Most of the confirmed cases are men between the ages of 20 and 60 who started showing symptoms between May 5 and July 16, 2022. Almost all cases presented with fever, asthenia, lymphadenopathy and skin rash. The lesions were localized in the genital, perioral and/or perianal regions. The most likely transmission mechanism was sexual contact.

The Medical Director of BCN Checkpoint – BCN PrEP-Point also participated in the press conference. Pep Coll focused part of the exhibition on infection prevention and control with measures such as “early detection of cases; isolation, identification and contact tracing”.

Other specified measures would be sexual abstinence or reduction of the number of sexual partners; the use of condoms (as an additional measure to avoid any sexually transmitted disease); not sharing items, such as towels, used by someone who has tested positive for monkeypox or who has been in close contact; exposure and post-exposure vaccination; and with regard to health personnel in contact with patients, one of the protective measures would be the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

At the same time, the Secretary of Public Health stressed the importance of working with entities and informing the population, especially the most sensitive, avoiding stigma. In this sense, the Ministry of Health has carried out different communication actions to inform citizens about monkeypox (MPX), symptoms and transmission routes to prevent contagion, in accordance with the recommendations of the World Health Organization ( WHO). These materials have been agreed with entities and professionals.

The dissemination is done through dating applications, such as Tinder or Grindr, where they have been running since June 14, and also on social networks, both in those of the Ministry of Health and in those of the entities to which they are associated. collaborate. In addition, graphic material has been distributed to hospitals where cases have been identified and to entities where health promotion and prevention work is carried out.

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