Health authority finally makes Monkeypox vaccine available to LGBT community

Meanwhile, SSI has expanded the risk group for the disease over fears that a large number of Monkeypox cases are going unreported.

With Copenhagen Pride lingering on the immediate horizon, there was a good piece of news for the LGBT community in Denmark today.

The Sundhedsstyrelsen health authority has changed its tune regarding the availability of the Monkeypox vaccine and it is now available for men who have sex with men and for those who have a high number of sexual partners.

The groups mentioned above will be offered two doses of the Imvanex vaccine.

Until now, the Monkeypox vaccine in Denmark had only been offered to people who have been in contact with an infected person.

READ ALSO: READ ALSO: Denmark considering proposal to make Monkeypox vaccine more easily available to LGBT+ community

Expanded risk group
The news comes on the same day as the State Serum Institute (SSI) expanded the risk group for the disease over fears that a large number of Monkeypox cases are going unreported.

So far, 123 cases have been reported in Denmark, but SSI believes the actual number of infections is “significantly higher”.

“We have a clear suspicion that we are not catching all instances,” Tyra Grove Krause, the SSI head of Infectious disease epidemiology and prevention, told TV2 News.

The previous risk assessment solely had men who have sex with men at a moderate risk level, but the new assessment has groups with a high number of sexual contacts as being at moderate risk as well. 

Krause said that Monkeypox is a relatively mild illness in its current form and shouldn’t breed panic. 

“Monkeypox is far less contagious than COVID-19 and it is much easier to break its chains of infection,” she said.

By the numbers
So far, the stats on Monkeypox cases in Denmark are as follows:

– the average age of those infected is 38 years, spanning from 18-61.

– all cases so far relate to men who have sex with men. 28 percent are HIV positive and 41 percent are on HIV-preventative medication.

– 5-10 people are believed to have been hospitalised for pain medication for Monkeypox, while no deaths have been registered. 

– No close contacts have been infected without sexual contact.

– No cases among health personnel, but SSI say that it is likely to happen.

– SSI has 2,700 doses of the Imvanex vaccine at hand and it is working on obtaining a further 10,000 doses.