The European Commission announced in a press release on 7 September that it has purchased an additional 170,932 doses of monkeypox vaccines from Danish pharmaceutical company Bavarian Nordic. The vaccines are set to be delivered “by the end of the year.”
“While we have seen the number of monkeypox cases decreasing in the EU over the past weeks, the threat has not passed, and we cannot let down our guard. We must continue to keep up the pace of our efforts to protect our citizens, especially the most vulnerable,” Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said in the press release.
The new purchase brings the total number of doses directly purchased by the EU to 334,540. Vaccines already purchased earlier in the year will continue to be delivered in the coming months to EU Member States, as well as Norway and Iceland.
In Belgium, the total number of infections from the monkeypox virus has risen to 726 since the start of the outbreak, Belgian health organisation Sciensano reported on 6 September. As in much of Europe, the number of new cases in Belgium is on the way down.
- Monkeypox: WHO notes 'early signs' of a slowdown in Europe
- Brussels opens info line on monkeypox from Monday
On 24 July, the World Health Organisation (WHO) triggered its highest level of alert in order to prevent the epidemic from escalating even further.
In Belgium, 699 of the 703 confirmed were detected in men.
The WHO has asked vulnerable communities to reduce their number of sexual contacts to prevent transmission of the virus. The virus is thought to be spread through skin-on-skin physical contact, other intimate contact, or sharing sanitary objects like sheets or towels.