Newsdeck

Monkeypox

Africa CDC warns on vaccine hoarding amid monkeypox outbreak

Africa CDC warns on vaccine hoarding amid monkeypox outbreak
Monkeypox Virus Present In Human Vesicular Fluid. Photographer: BSIP/Universal Images Group Editorial/Getty Images

JOHANNESBURG, May 26 (Reuters) - 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.

Monkeypox, a usually mild viral infection, is endemic in the African countries of Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria.

But it has caused global alarm after more than 200 suspected and confirmed cases of the virus were detected in at least 19 countries since early May, mostly in Europe. No deaths have been reported so far.

“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.

Ogwell Ouma’s comments came a day after South African disease experts said they did not think there was a need for mass vaccination campaigns globally against monkeypox and that vaccines should be prioritised for other deadly infections.

Africa haused smallpox vaccines to manage outbreaks of monkeypox in the past, he said, urging the general public to avoid looking for those vaccines and squeezing supplies for those most at risk.

“The prioritisation is first health workers who are in the frontline, and then the affected communities where the outbreaks are first characterised, before contemplating the general public,” Ogwell Oumasaid.

“We know how to deal with it… and we are happy to share that knowledge, the experience and the skills we have built over time with countries that are seeing monkeypox now.”

By Bhargav Acharya and Alexander Winning

(Reporting by Bhargav Acharya in Bengaluru and Alexander Winning in Johannesburg; Editing by James Macharia Chege and Bernadette Baum)

Gallery

Comments - Please in order to comment.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

[%% img-description %%]

The Spy Bill: An autocratic roadmap to State Capture 2.0

Join Heidi Swart in conversation with Anton Harber and Marianne Merten as they discuss a concerning push to pass a controversial “Spy Bill” into law by May 2024. Tues 5 Dec at 12pm, live, online and free of charge.

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.8% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.2% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.2% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.2%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options