Monkeypox: Virologist urges government to acquire smallpox vaccines

A Professor of Virology, Sunday Omilabu, has urged the Federal Government to put efforts in place to aquire smallpox vaccines in the fight against monkeypox.

Monkey pox is a rare disease caused by monkeypox virus [WHO]

Omilabu, who spoke in an interview aired on Arise TV on Sunday, said research had shown that the smallpox vaccine was effective against the monkeypox virus.

He said that monkeypox which is a zonotic disease is a virus transferred from animals to humans.

He said: “Government should negotiate for smallpox vaccine as other European countries are doing to prevent more cases of the virus.

“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 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 laboratory facility to detect this virus and this is as a result of the structure put in place during COVID-19.

“This structures should be highly maintained,” he said.

Omilabu called for more enlightenment to educate people on monkeypox, adding that health workers should be well protected.

“Monkeypox is not as deadlier as COVID-19 but it is very scaring 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 News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 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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