Amsterdam starts monkeypox vaccinations as infections top 700

The monkeypox virus. Photo:
The monkeypox virus. Photo:

Amsterdam is to start vaccinating people against monkeypox on Monday, focusing on the most at risk groups.

By Thursday, 712 cases of monkeypox had been reported to the authorities nationwide with most – 429 cases – in Noord Holland and Flevoland.

The city has been allocated enough vaccine to give 10,500 people the required two doses and the first invitations were sent out on Thursday, council officials said.

The priority list is based on criteria drawn up by the health ministry and public health institute RIVM. First up are people taking the hiv prevention drug PrEP or who are waiting to start taking it. In second place, people with hiv will be called up, and finally patients at STD clinics.

‘Monkeypox can be a very nasty disease so it is important to protect those most at risk,’ local health chief Shula Rijxman said.

More than 14,000 cases in 71 countries have been reported to the World Health Organisation so far this year.

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