Australia gets new third-generation monkeypox virus vaccine

By Our Reporter
Representative image // Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

The Albanese Government has secured 450,000 doses of the new third-generation monkeypox virus (MPX) vaccine by Bavarian Nordic.

The first delivery of around 22,000 doses will arrive in Australia later this week. The remainder will arrive later this year and in 2023.

Australia is one of a limited number of countries to secure supplies of this vaccine in 2022 and in doing so, is ensuring the increased safety of those at higher risk of exposure to MPX, a press release from the office of Minister for Health and Aged Care Mark Butler said.

In preparation for the arrival of the vaccine, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has recommended key groups to be vaccinated.

The states and territories will immediately receive MPX vaccine from the first delivery and will manage the vaccine rollout within their jurisdictions. This includes prioritising access to the initial doses to manage the immediate outbreak, based on who is at greatest risk of exposure or severe illness and their local context.

The Government is acting quickly to limit the spread of monkeypox and protect the community. The Chief Medical Officer has already declared monkeypox a Communicable Disease Incident of National Significance and the National Incident Centre has been activated to provide a national response.

We have continued to work closely with key stakeholders, including AFAO, NAPWHA, and ASHM since the detection of monkeypox in Australia.

In response to the evolving situation the Government has engaged ASHM and AFAO to form a National MPXV Taskforce, which will provide leadership and policy advice on community engagement, clinical management, education and prevention.

The Government will provide funding to peak organisations to undertake targeted communication activities that support the monkeypox response in Australia. A highly targeted campaign will also be created to encourage at risk populations to vaccinate.

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