Smallpox vaccines are being offered to Britons to combat monkeypox outbreak

The outbreak has been detected in the U.K, Spain, Portugal and other European regions infecting 68 people.

An outbreak of monkeypox has triggered Britain authorities to offer the smallpox vaccine to some health works and people who were exposed to the virus. There have been 68 cases suspected cases, eight of which are from England, the version of monkeypox detected in England is mild with a fatality rate of less than 1%. According to the World Health Organisation, data has showed that smallpox vaccines are 85% effective against monkeypox. "Those who have required the vaccine have been offered it,” stated the U.K. Health Security Agency (UKHSA). The United States and other countries have stockpiled large amounts of vaccines as part of their pandemic preparedness. The Copenhagen-based vaccine developer Bavarian Nordic, announced that they secured a contract with an unnamed European country to supply Imvanex, their smallpox vaccine.

Several outbreaks in Africa were contained during the COVID-19, Anne Rimoin, epidemiology professor stated that the unusual spike in infections outside of Africa could imply that there is a new means of the spread or a change in the virus. "This is rare and unusual," epidemiologist Susan Hopkins, who's the chief medical adviser of UKHSA, noted in a statement. "Exactly where and how they acquired their infections remains under urgent investigation," stated the UKHSA. There is evidence that the virus could be spreading through sexual contact, this new route of transmission could have consequences on the outbreak response and control. The agency has noted that recent cases have been among men who self-identify as gay, bisexual or men that have sex with other men.