MoH receives first shipment of monkeypox vaccines

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MoH receives first shipment of monkeypox vaccines

Trinidad and Tobago has received 1,400 doses of the World Health Organization (WHO) approved “mpox” vaccines.

In a media release on Wednesday, the Ministry of Health said this is the first of two shipments via the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) vaccine acquisition platform.

The Ministry said the second shipment of 1,400 doses is scheduled to arrive in the country in the near future.

This would amount to a total of 2,800 doses of the two-dose “mpox” vaccines available locally.

The Ministry said it should be noted that in late November 2022 the WHO introduced the preferred terminology “mpox” as a synonym for the monkeypox vaccines.

The Ministry of Health will adopt the WHO interim guidelines dated November 16th, 2022 found at as it relates to use of these vaccines.

“The National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG), upon review of these interim guidelines, has recommended that these vaccines will be administered:

-to individuals who are close contacts of confirmed positive cases only;
-to individuals within the above category who are eighteen (18) years and older, but NOT pregnant and/or breastfeeding; and
-as a post exposure preventative vaccination (PEPV) programme.

“As such, only individuals who meet the above criteria would be eligible and a mass vaccination campaign would not be utilised at this time.”

“Further, the Ministry wishes to advise that the County Medical Officers of Health (CMOHs) will actively reach out to persons who are deemed contacts to offer vaccinations to these individuals.”

The Ministry said it remains committed to safeguarding the health of the population and will continue to provide safe and effective WHO approved vaccines to the people of Trinidad and Tobago.