Mpox
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Question Everything – Especially When It Comes to Mpox Injections

Monkeypox is back with a name change.  It’s now mpox.  This is because monkeypox could apparently ‘be construed as discriminatory and racist’.

There have been 41 cases in NZ as of 9 Jan 2023 and that seems to constitute an outbreak and a call for action.

According to the MoH, New Zealand’s response to mpox includes a package of activities such as contact tracing and isolation, testing and treatment, preventative health advice/education, and vaccination where appropriate.  (Is this what the recent job adverts for contract tracers were for?)

We’re curious to know more about the testing.  Is it being done using dubious PCR methods again, which can find almost anything if enough cycles are done?

Mpox Disease

Monkeypox is generally a mild self-limiting illness that may last 2-4 weeks.  Symptoms can include fever, rash, swollen lymph nodes, fatigue, headache and feeling unwell.   See our previous three part article here and another commentary here.

Although not being labelled an STI, mpox is disproportionately affecting gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM).

This group of the population is being encouraged to visit the Burnett Foundation website to undertake a risk assessment.  If at risk, there’s an 0800 number to call to book a consultation to discuss mpox prevention options.  These appointments will be available in various secret locations around the country from Mon 16th Jan 2023.

During the consultation, at risk people are likely to get ‘offered’ an unapproved, poorly-tested smallpox vaccine that supposedly has beneficial effects in preventing mpox.  We must recall that covid-19 vaccinations were ‘offered’ before they became ‘recommended’ then ‘mandatory’.

According to media reports there are 5,000 vials of this vaccine in NZ though details are sketchy.  There are two repurposed smallpox vaccines that appear to be being marketed worldwide as suitable for prevention of mpox – Jynneos, (also called Imvanex or Imvamune) and ACAM2000. 

Dr Ayesha Verrall has said: “The company responsible for the vaccine was expected to apply to Medsafe ‘shortly’”.

NZ Formulary has information for Jynneos, made by Bavarian Nordic but not ACAM2000.

5,000 vials can provide up to 20,000 doses depending on whether the injection is administered subcutaneously (under the skin) or intradermally (within the skin).

Tim Nguyen, (Unit Head – High Impacts Event Preparedness) speaking to the WHO in 2022, advised that anyone who received one of these repurposed smallpox vaccines should be part of a clinical trial as not very much is known about them.

It is known that there is a risk of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) with them though.  We wonder if that risk is highest for young men as it is for covid-19 shots and how well people will be informed of this risk.  We hope the informed consent process is substantially better than that undertaken for covid-19 injections.

Our Comment

Question everything.  Do not be coerced into acting because of fear.  Take a moment to look at information from a variety of sources before you make a decision.  And then make an Informed Decision.

Some Questions to Consider

  • How serious is the disease?
  • Are you personally at risk?
  • Can you reduce your risk in other ways besides an unapproved vaccine?
  • How healthy is your immune system and can you improve it?
  • Has the vaccine been tested sufficiently for you to feel confident it is safe in the short, medium and long term?
  • How many doses will you need and how often?
  • What will you do if you suffer an adverse effect from the vaccine?
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