Jakarta (ANTARA) - The monkeypox task force of the Indonesian Medical Association (IDI) has recommended that the procurement of the Modified Vaccinia Ankara-Bavarian Nordic (MVA-BN) vaccine be prioritized to curb monkeypox transmission in Indonesia.

"The vaccine that we are recommending is MVA-BN by considering its efficacy and safety," Head of IDI's monkeypox task force Dr. Hanny Nilasari informed here on Wednesday.

According to Nilasari, MVA-BN, which is used as a third-generation smallpox vaccine, is effective and safe for monkeypox patients with immunocompromised conditions or those with innate immunity disorders.

In addition, MVA-BN is also safe for patients aged over 18 years, children, and pregnant women.

"Thus, it is effective and safe to be used for patients of various ages and various conditions," she said.

Though the vaccine may not completely eliminate infection by 100 percent, providing the best vaccine will reduce further complications, she added. Currently, the most reported complication among monkeypox patients is related to the central nervous system.

Regarding the provision of the monkeypox vaccine, she said that IDI has recommended that vaccinations be focused on three priority groups: health workers, people who have had close contact with monkeypox patients, and people with multiple sexual partners, as well as homosexual groups.

According to her, the vaccination does not need to be carried out massively because Indonesia became free of smallpox in the 1980s.

"Indeed, the protection of the smallpox vaccination against monkeypox virus is reported to be 85 percent. I think by maintaining patients' immunities and identifying patients and treating them comprehensively, there is no need for mass vaccination," she said.

Nilasari also suggested that the provision of antiviral drugs and vaccines for monkeypox be decentralized to the designated district and city health offices so that the it can be made more efficient and target at-risk groups. This is considering that currently, monkeypox vaccine production is still limited.

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Translator: Suci Nurhaliza, Raka Adji
Editor: Sri Haryati
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