Monkeypox jabs heading for Victoria as cases rise

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More than 20,000 additional monkeypox vaccines are expected to arrive in Victoria in September as the number of cases increases in the state.

According to the most recent update on Friday from the state health department, 53 cases have been discovered in Victoria since the outbreak began in May.

Eligibility has been tightened until the new shipment arrives and websites of two of the five clinics administering the vaccine in Melbourne say they are out of doses.

Health Minister Mary-Anne Thomas said the vaccine is in short supply worldwide and Victoria initially had a “limited number” available.

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“We are waiting for Commonwealth delivery and the Commonwealth is working hard to bring in vaccines. This is a global challenge,” she told reporters on Sunday.

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“We’re definitely looking at the vaccine manufacturers to increase the supply and make sure we can get it available to as many people as possible.”

The Victorian Health Department says the outbreak has disproportionately affected men who have sex with men and puts anyone who has been near a case at risk.

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“We don’t want to stigmatize this disease and we want to make sure we get the right care,” Ms Thomas said.

“We are working with the sexual health services and other services that we know are connecting with those who are currently most at risk.”

The latest statistics released by the Australian Health Department on August 25 shows that 106 cases have been detected across Australia since May.

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450,000 additional doses

Earlier this month, Federal Health Secretary Mark Butler said 450,000 additional doses would arrive by the end of 2023.

The virus is spread through skin-to-skin contact or by touching contaminated objects.

It can cause sores, lesions, rashes, aches, fever, swollen lymph nodes, and other symptoms.

The World Health Organization says the number of cases worldwide has fallen by more than 20 percent in the past week.

-MONKEY

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