The German government should procure much larger stocks of monkeypox vaccine than currently ordered, the DAH non-governmental organization that focuses on combatting AIDS said on Friday.
“We need around 1 million doses of vaccine in order to offer half a million people long-lasting protection,” DAH epidemiologist Jeremias Schmidt said. “We cannot have a situation where gay men wanting to be vaccinated are denied vaccine,” he added.
The government should place orders for the vaccine as soon as possible, as purchases over the short term would be barely possible in the period ahead, Schmidt said.
According to the Health Ministry, the German government has ordered 240,000 doses of monkeypox vaccine, of which 40,000 have been delivered. The remainder is to follow by the end of September.
Schmidt sees this as insufficient. “We do not believe that the epidemic will be over when the doses currently available have been administered,” he said. As long as monkeypox infections were occurring, people at risk should be offered vaccination.
According to the official disease control body, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), 2,595 cases of monkeypox have been recorded in Germany. The authorities are recommending vaccination for certain high-risk groups along with those in close contact with infected persons.
Men having sex with multiple partners are seen as being at increased risk.
Schmidt estimated the number of gay and bisexual men having multiple partners at more than half a million, although not all were interested in being vaccinated. The virus could also spread to other population groups, he said.