Jamaica gets first batch of monkeypox vaccine

Jamaica has received its first batch of monkeypox vaccines.

Some 1,400 single dose vials of the vaccine JYNNEOS, which is approved for the prevention of monkeypox disease in individulas 18 years and older, arrived in the island on 17 October 2022.

The vaccines, which have an expiry date of June 2025, will be administered on a priority basis to healthcare workers involved in direct care of monkeypox patients and without the appropriate personal protective equipment; adult household contacts; and sexual partners of a confirmed case. Vaccination is not at this time recommended for the general population.

The spread of monkeypox may occur when a person comes into close contact with an infected individual. Person-to-person spread may occur through:
• direct contact with monkeypox skin lesions or scabs, including:
o sexual contact
o close personal contact
• contact with contaminated personal items, such as clothing, bed linen or towels used by an infected person; and
• respiratory droplets by way of coughing or sneezing of an individual with a monkeypox rash.

Symptoms of monkeypox are usually mild to moderate and include fever, intense headache, swelling of the lymph nodes, back pain, muscle ache, and/or rash on the skin. Members of the public who experience these symptoms must immediately isolate and call ahead to their health centre or doctor before visiting.