The Ministry of Health aims to increase sensitisation on the monkeypox in the general public as Guyana awaits vaccines from PAHO. Once vaccines arrive, persons exposed to the virus will be prioritized.
Guyana has, to date, recorded only one case of monkeypox in a 57 year old male who has since been quarantined. While noting that monkeypox is a self-limited disease, Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony re-iterated that Guyana has placed an order for the JYNNEOS vaccine with PAHO and expects to receive doses as early as the end of September.
“What they have recommended is not to give it as a Pre-exposure prophylaxis type vaccine, meaning that you give it before somebody has been exposed. Rather you do it as a post-exposure vaccine. So if someone is at high risk, meaning that you would have been in close contact with somebody who has monkeypox… then obviously your chances of getting monkeypox is quite high.”
He notes typical side effects can be expected from the JYNNEOS vaccine such as headaches, redness or swelling at the point of injection, muscle aches or nausea in some person.
“After a brief period, maybe a 24/36-hour period, those things would go away. For some persons they may also experience some muscle pain, and for some people they may feel a bit upset. Some people can have presentations of heart abnormalities – but that’s extremely rare.”
He adds that the safety profile of the vaccine is very good and it has been used and proven to prevent the disease from spreading.
The U.S Food and Drug Administration says the JYNNEOS is a vaccine Indicated for prevention of smallpox and monkeypox disease in adults 18 years of age and older.
The Ministry also intends to increase sensitisation efforts so the public can be properly informed on what to look out for and how to stay safe.
“We have been doing a number of sensitisation with the general public. Very shortly you will see more of that in terms of PSAs, short videos, we have flyers that will be going out, posters that would be going out so everybody would be more sensitised – what are the signs, what are the symptoms and so forth.”