PARIS, May 24 (Xinhua) -- The French National Authority for Health (HAS) announced Tuesday a reactive vaccination strategy after three cases of monkeypox were detected in the country.
HAS said in a press release that the vaccination is for adults at risk of exposure to the virus, including health professionals. It recommends only the third generation vaccine to be administered, ideally in the four days after the contact at risk, to maximum 14 days later.
The vaccination scheme consists of two doses or three for immunocompromised patients, 28 days apart.
HAS said that the recommendation of vaccination will be adapted according to new epidemiological and clinical data available.
It also emphasized the importance of having a monkeypox epidemic monitoring and reporting data system, more precision on the transmission for the currently identified cases, data about the efficiency of the third generation of the vaccine and data on the efficiency of a booster shot for those already vaccinated against smallpox during their childhood.
Prevention and protective measures will be indicated by the High Council for Public Health in the following days.
In France, vaccination against smallpox was mandatory until 1979.
Monkeypox is a viral zoonotic disease that occurs primarily in the tropical rainforest areas of central and west Africa and is occasionally exported to other regions.
Initial symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle ache, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, exhaustion and a chickenpox-like rash.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there were at least 131 confirmed cases of monkeypox and 106 suspected cases of the disease in 19 countries since the first was reported on May 7.