The European Commission has approved a smallpox vaccine for use against monkeypox after the World Health Organisation declared monkeypox a global health emergency, according to the Danish drugmaker that developed the jab disclosed on Monday.
“The European Commission has extended the marketing authorisation for the company’s smallpox vaccine, Imvanex, to include protection from monkeypox” in line with a recommendation by the EU’s medicines watchdog, Bavarian Nordic said in a statement.
“The approval… is valid in all European Union Member States as well as in Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway.”
On Saturday, the WHO declared the monkeypox outbreak, which has affected nearly 16,000 people in 72 countries, to be a global health emergency — the highest alarm it can sound.
Imvanex has been approved in the EU since 2013 for the prevention of smallpox.
It was also considered a potential vaccine for monkeypox because of the similarity between the monkeypox virus and the smallpox virus.