There is scare building up against the hoarding of vaccine vials by wealthier nations as monkey pox becomes the next worst nightmare facing nations.
Though a mild form of a viral infection, it poses major issues due to outbreak of boil like structures in the outer layer of the skin.
Central to African countries and said to spread from animals, the disease is curable and treated well from the small pox vaccine. However, cases are now being seen as spreading into US, Canada and parts of Europe.
The acting director of Africa’s top public health agency said on Thursday that he hoped vaccine hoarding, as seen by wealthier nations during the Covid-19 pandemic, would not be repeated with the current monkeypox outbreak.
Most spreads are centering around Europe only. The WHO is already a word of caution out that the vaccine should first reach those nations that need it the most, instead of wealthy nations hoarding them like in the case of Covid-19.
“Vaccines should go to where it is needed the most and equitably, so based on risk, and not on who can be able to buy it,” Ahmed Ogwell Ouma of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention told a news conference. The World Health Organization has in the past warned wealthy countries against hoarding COVID-19 vaccines and threatening supplies to poorer countries where inoculation rates are low.
While Africa has been battling epidemics one after another, it has found sensible ways out for diseases like malaria, small pox, measles and cholera too. In the past, around the 1950s, it treated a monkey pox outbreak with the small pox vaccine itself.
While South African disease experts feel there is no need for a mass vaccine drive, WHO continues to hold the stance that hoarding should be absolutely avoided at all costs and that needing nations should be prioritized.