People above 60 already vaccinated against monkeypox: Virologist
A Professor of Virology, Sunday Omilabu, says people above 60 years of age are immune to the raging monkeypox virus because they have been vaccinated against smallpox in the past.
“People above 60 years are lucky because they got a shot of the smallpox vaccine sometime ago but people who are presently below 50 years didn’t get the shot,” the public health experts alluded.
He noted that monkeypox which is a zoonotic disease is a virus transferred from animals to humans.
However, Mr Omilabu said the federal government should put efforts in place to acquire smallpox vaccines in the fight against monkeypox because research has shown it was effective against the monkeypox virus.
He spoke in an interview aired on Arise TV on Sunday.
“Government should negotiate for a smallpox vaccine as other European countries are doing to prevent more cases of the virus,” he advised.
The public health expert said that the capacity and structure used for COVID-19 should not be discarded, noting that it had helped in case detection of the virus.
“We have a laboratory facility to detect this virus and this is as a result of the structure put in place during COVID-19.
“These structures should be highly maintained,” he said.
Mr Omilabu called for more enlightenment to educate people on monkeypox, adding that health workers should be well protected.
“Monkeypox is not as deadly as COVID-19 but it is very scary when you see people infected with the virus.
“People should be enlightened about the causes and how the virus is spread from animals to humans,” he said.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently classified the different variants of monkeypox as Clades l, llA and llB to avoid social, cultural offence.
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