French health authority recommends targeted monkeypox vaccinations

Illustration shows test tubes labelled "Monkeypox virus positive and negative\
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PARIS (Reuters) -France's health authority said on Tuesday it recommended starting a targeted vaccination campaign against monkeypox.

The health authority said it recommended that at-risk adults who have been in contact with a patient with confirmed monkeypox should be vaccinated.

Health staff who have been exposed to a monkeypox patient should also receive the vaccine, the health authority added.

The authority said that this post-exposure reactive strategy made sense given that the incubation period for the virus is often six to 16 days.

It recommended third-generation monkeypox vaccines and said they should be given ideally within four days and up to 14 days following exposure.

France so far has three confirmed cases.

Germany - which has registered five cases so far - on Tuesday ordered 40,000 doses of monkeypox vaccine to be ready to vaccinate contacts of those infected with monkeypox if an outbreak in Germany becomes more severe.

The World Health Organization on Monday said the outbreak does not require mass vaccinations because measures like hygiene and safe sexual behaviour will help to control the spread.

The WHO has registered more than 250 confirmed and suspected monkeypox infections, with a geographic spread that is unusual for the disease which is endemic in parts of west and central Africa but rare elsewhere.

(Reporting by GV De Clercq, editing by Tassilo Hummel and Jane Merriman)