Do You Need A Monkeypox Vaccine? Research Underway, Says Poonawalla

New Delhi: Monkeypox cases have been creeping up slowly and steadily in India, especially in Kerala and Delhi. Is the country ready to handle a possible major outbreak of the virus?

There were positive vibes on Tuesday, with Union Health minister Mansukh Mandaviya stating that a national task force has been set up to monitor the development of diagnostics and vaccines.

Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla provided an encouraging update, saying that research is underway on monkeypox vaccine.

“All preparations for the vaccine are being done… I briefed the minister on this. We are researching on the vaccine for monkeypox and if there’s a need for it,” Poonawalla said after his meeting with the Health minister.

A second Nigerian man living in Delhi tested positive for monkeypox, India Today reported quoting official sources. It’s the third case in the national capital and ninth in the country.

Mandaviya urged people not to panic.

“There is no need to be afraid of monkeypox, an awareness campaign is being run in collaboration with the state governments: Public awareness is very necessary in the context of monkeypox. We have also formed a task force under the chairmanship of a member of NITI Aayog on behalf of the Government of India,” the Union minister said while speaking in Rajya Sabha today.

“On the basis of the observations of the task force, we will assess and study further action to be taken. If the state government of Kerala needs any kind of help from the Central government, it will be given. Also, an expert team of the Central government is guiding the state government from time to time,” he said.

Mandaviya said that India has written to other governments about screening report of international travellers be sent to the authorities concerned.

“If someone in the family has had monkeypox, keeping a distance from that person for 12-13 days is advised and thus, the spread can be controlled. With constant vigilance, we can control it well,” he said.

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