Spain's Minister of Health, Carolina Darias / sur

Spain receives first treatments and vaccines for monkeypox virus

The first batch of medication will be used for people who are seriously ill, although so far the only cases registered have been mild

ÁLVARO SOTO Madrid

Health minister Carolina Darias announced on Thursday that Spain has received the first anti-viral treatments against monkeypox. It is a drug called tecovirimat, made by the US pharmaceutical company SIGA and is sold under the name of Tpoxx.

The first batch will be used for patients who are seriously ill with monkeypox, although at the moment only mild cases have been recorded in this country. By Thursday this week there had been 156 cases, 14 more than on Wednesday.

The medication has arrived via central purchasing by the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA), which was created during the coronavirus pandemic and supplied countries with vaccines against Covid-19.

The first 200 smallpox vaccines, which can also be used against monkeypox, are also due to arrive from HERA very soon. The agency has acquired a supply from the Danish laboratory Bavarian Nordic, which is the only one authorised by the European Medications Agency to sell the vaccine called Imvanex, a compound which provides 85% protection against monkeypox virus.