Monkeypox: Japan’s scientific mission is in the country to adjust vaccines and study intervals


The Ministry of Health and Social Protection announced that this week a group of Japanese scientists and their Colombian colleagues are working to define protocols, procedures and ethical aspects of the study and vaccination against smallpox.

“The actions carried out by the Ministry of Health and Social Protection include the commission that was carried out in November 2022 to the Clinical Research Institute of the National University, to prepare a research protocol that allows, in addition to publishing the vaccination process, to obtain data on the safety and efficacy of using the smallpox vaccine in preventing smallpox infection,” they explained in the press release.

They added that this is a strategy of scientific sovereignty and international cooperation, which the Government is implementing in all areas of its administration.

“This protocol was discussed with the Ministry of Health and Welfare of Japan and the Japanese National Institute of Infectious Diseases, in accordance with the bilateral agreement signed between the two countries, which specifies that the protocol for this project must be agreed upon by both countries. the parts. and ensure adherence to research recommendations amid epidemics issued by the WHO.” global health.

Colombia is among the five countries most affected by monkeypox, according to the World Health Organization.

This year, the multilateral entity shared its latest report on the evolution of the virus and noted that it remains a moderate risk for the world.

According to data provided by the World Health Organization (WHO), cases of monkeypox (or smallpox, as it has recently come to be called) have been identified in 110 member states, found in six WHO regions.

The latest data review shows that around 86,019 laboratory-confirmed monkeypox cases and another 1,389 probable cases have been identified globally. Likewise, around 96 deaths were identified.

As of May 13, 2022, a high proportion of these cases have been reported in countries where transmission has not been previously documented. And the World Health Organization warned in its latest assessment that this is the first time that cases and continuous chains of transmission are reported in countries that have no direct or direct epidemiological links with regions of West or Central Africa.

Furthermore, he noted that monkeypox outbreaks in most countries have mostly affected men who have sex with men, which is important when countries are setting their health policies in response to the virus.

“The confirmation of a case of smallpox disease in a country is considered an outbreak. The unexpected appearance of smallpox in several areas in the initial absence of epidemiological links in West and Central Africa indicates that there may have been undetected transmission for some time”, WHO added.

He noted that the rating currently given to the risks this virus poses to global public health is moderate. This level of risk is maintained in regions such as Africa, the eastern Mediterranean, Europe and the Americas. Meanwhile, the risk was rated low in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific region.

In any case, they note that the Director-General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has determined that the monkeypox outbreak should still be considered a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. In addition, some revised interim recommendations were published in connection with the outbreak.

“Continued monitoring and better access to diagnostics, vaccines and treatments are key to stopping worldwide transmission of the disease,” the WHO said on its official website.

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