BRUSSELS, June 28 (KUNA) -- The European Union Tuesday began vaccine deliveries to EU member states to ensure that all EU countries are ready to respond to the current monkeypox outbreak.
Today, the delivery of the first vaccine doses purchased by the European Commission's Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA) started with an initial 5,300 doses arriving in Spain, out of the total 109,090 doses procured, said the EUآ’s executive body in a statement.
EU Commissioner for Health Stella Kyriakides said: "As of today, the first deliveries of vaccines in response to the monkeypox outbreak are arriving to the most affected countries. This is the first time that we are, through our Health Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA), directly buying and donating vaccines to Member States."
Since 18 of May, around 2,682 cases of monkeypox have been reported in 23 EU Member States. monkeypox is a virus transmitted to humans from animals with symptoms very similar but less severe to those seen in the past in smallpox patients.
The disease is endemic in West and Central Africa and it is spreading for the first time in Europe, it said.
Shortly after today's deliveries to Spain, Portugal, Germany and Belgium will be the next countries receiving doses. Further deliveries to additional EU Member States will take place in the course of July and August. (end)