Bahrain offers free monkeypox vaccines, opens pre-registration, vaccination is voluntary
TDT | Manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
Bahrain has come out with all guns blazing once again, after battling the COVID-19 pandemic successfully, this time against the rapidly spreading monkeypox virus, with vaccines free of charge against the 'viral zoonotic' infection for both citizens and residents.
Vaccination against the infection, declared by the World Health Organisation as a global health emergency, is voluntary, said the Ministry of Health.
However, the ministry said the Kingdom has only limited stock now. Hence, priority is for groups, including "frontline health workers and those at high risk of exposure." But there are no reasons to worry.
More vaccines are on the way, the ministry assures. “Upcoming shipments will be for citizens and residents who wish to take the vaccine," MoH confirms, adding it will be free of charge. Citizens and residents, to register, call 24/7 hotline 444 or log on to healthalert.gov.bh.
Bahrain has also recently announced receiving monkeypox diagnostic kits from WHO. Bahrain is taking up this new mission after successfully battling the COVID-19 that claimed over 1,500 lives in the Kingdom and 6,428,581 lives worldwide.
The Kingdom vaccinated nearly 85% of its population against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As of Wednesday, 998,092 people took booster doses and 1,224,396 second doses in the Kingdom. As with COVID-19, Bahrain is also not leaving behind anyone in the monkeypox battle.
Ministry said the vaccine is for the safety and security of all citizens and residents. Bahrain has also recently introduced monkeypox testing, isolation and treatment protocols based on WHO recommendations and standards.
It says those who have the virus or are suspected to have contracted should stay in isolation for 21 days. Authorised officials could decrease or increase the isolation based on a health condition. No clarification is, however, available on the vaccine types available for vaccinating against monkeypox.
Canada, the European Union, and the United States have authorised a smallpox vaccine, MVA-BN, for use in monkeypox prevention. LC16 and ACAM2000, two more vaccines, are also being explored for monkeypox prevention.
Europe is currently the epicentre of the monkeypox outbreak that is unlikely to disrupt international trade or travel. Despite all this, the virus is not new. Scientists first discovered monkeypox in 1958 in captive monkeys used for research in Denmark Officials confirmed the first case of a human infected with the virus in 1970 in Zaire, now called the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Also, know that monkeypox is in the same virus family as smallpox, though it causes a milder disease.