Demand for smallpox vaccine could surge

Harish Rao says stocks of the vaccine are available

July 25, 2022 09:12 pm | Updated 09:12 pm IST - HYDERABAD

If the monkey pox cases were to spread, demand for the vaccine against small pox can pick up. World Health Organisation (WHO) has stated that,  “Vaccination against small pox was demonstrated through several observational studies to be about 85% effective in preventing monkey pox. Thus, prior small pox vaccination may result in milder illness.”

Doctors in Telangana too have started to speak about the effect of the vaccine in offering protection against monkey pox, and its availability.

However, the WHO has also stated that “the original (first-generation) small pox vaccines are no longer available to the general public”.

Stock situation

When Health Minister T Harish Rao was asked if there are any plans to procure the small pox vaccine as the stocks are not available, he said that they have the stocks. 

“We will procure it if there is any shortage,” he said, addressing questions at a press conference held at the State Secretariat in Hyderabad on Monday. 

People who were born before 1980 got the vaccine, unless skipped. Small pox was declared eradicated across the world in 1980. Its availability has tapered thereafter. With the threat of monkey pox looming large, demand for the vaccine could rise once again. 

When asked about screening for monkey pox at airports, Mr Harish Rao said that it is a Central subject and that they have requested the Central government to conduct the tests at airports.

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.