Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Health Ministry has informed that the monkeypox vaccination will currently only be administered to people who have come in close contact with monkeypox patients.

"Vaccination only helps to limit transmission and will only be given to those who are exposed and have had close contact, not to the whole community," director of immunization management at the ministry, Prima Yosephine, said at her office in Jakarta on Tuesday.

This decision has been taken based on the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO), under which vaccination is not the main focus of monkeypox mitigation plans, she said.

She said that the government is prioritizing the surveillance of monkeypox, including epidemiological investigations, isolation, and management of the disease.

The Ministry of Health is also collaborating with a number of organizations, which observe the interactions among gay and bisexual communities, in promoting preventive measures, given that six active monkeypox cases in Indonesia have been detected among people of bisexual orientation, Yosephine said.

"We are also carrying out socialization regarding clean and healthy living behavior (PHBS) to them, along with their sexual behavior and safety," she said.

She noted that the ministry is making ceaseless efforts to manage monkeypox, including promotional efforts and close contact tracing.

It is also considering providing additional vaccine doses to other people found to have come in close contact with the patients, she said.

Yosephine also urged the community not to discriminate against victims or homosexual and bisexual communities so that monkeypox management control can be carried out optimally.

According to the WHO, monkeypox is an infectious disease caused by the monkeypox virus. It can cause a painful rash, enlarged lymph nodes, and fever.

The number of confirmed cases of monkeypox worldwide has reached 90,618, with a total of 517 deaths reported from 115 countries.

The United States has reported the highest number of cases, while China, Thailand, and Japan are dominating in terms of the cases reported in Asia.

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Translator: Sean Muhamad, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Tia Mutiasari
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