Spain to begin monkeypox vaccination of close contacts

FILE PHOTO: CDC microscopic image shows monkeypox virus particles
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MADRID (Reuters) - Spain will begin vaccinating close contacts of confirmed monkeypox cases after more than 242 people tested positive for the virus since May 19, the health ministry said on Thursday.

Due to short supply of vaccines, only those who have been in close contact or have a great risk of serious illness can get vaccinated, the ministry added in a statement.

Around 200 of Bavarian Nordic's Imvanex vaccine arrived in Spain on Monday and the government is waiting to buy more under an EU vaccine purchasing scheme.

More than 1,200 cases of monkeypox have been confirmed in around 30 countries where the disease is not endemic, most of them in Europe. Spain’s tally of infections rose by nine on Thursday.

(Reporting by Christina Thykjaer; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)