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Tuesday, August 9, 2022
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ONG YE KUNG – VACCINATION AGAINST MONKEYPOX NOT RECOMMENDED, MORE RISKS THAN BENEFITS

Minister of Health Ong Ye Kung said in a Facebook statement that the Ministry of Health doesn’t recommend a mass vaccination against monkeypox.

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Ong Ye Kung’s statement

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared monkeypox a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, just like COVID-19. 

The International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR) Emergency Committee of WHO did not come to a consensus on this declaration. Nevertheless, WHO decided to do so, since the disease met the criteria of being an extraordinary event, put other countries at risk, and requires international coordination in response.

WHO’s risk assessment for monkeypox remains at ‘moderate’.

In Singapore, we have detected four imported and four local cases of monkeypox. The cases were promptly isolated. There was no evidence of them transmitting the infection to other people in the community.

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The Ministry of Health, Singapore (MOH) also quarantines their close contacts for up to 21 days since last exposure, while lower risk contacts are monitored through phone surveillance. Typically, each case may generate three to four close contacts who require quarantine, unlike COVID-19 which may generate up to 20 quarantine orders.

As of now, given the self-limiting nature of the disease, MOH does not recommend the mass vaccination of the whole population against monkeypox, because the benefits do not outweigh the risk.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely.

Disclaimer: Minister Ong Ye Kung's Facebook statement was posted before Singapore's confirmation of its 9th monkeypox case.

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