Monkeypox: Israel to acquire 2,000 vaccines - Health Ministry

So far, in Israel, there are 90 registered monkeypox cases, none requiring hospitalization.

 Electron micrograph of monkeypox virus. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Electron micrograph of monkeypox virus.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

2,000 monkeypox vaccine doses will arrive in Israel, Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz announced on Friday, adding that he spoke with biotech company Bavarian Nordic CEO Paul Chaplin. 

Bavarian Nordic has been producing monkeypox vaccines during a time of great worldwide demand for them. So far, in Israel, there are 90 registered monkeypox cases. 

"Most of them are not in need of hospitalization, but the virus spreads through close contact and this can get worse," said Horowitz, adding that the Health Ministry has been in talks to secure the shipment for weeks.

"Most of them are not in need of hospitalization, but the virus spreads through close contact and this can get worse."

Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz

The Health Ministry has been on a public information campaign since the emergence of the virus, Horowitz said, "with a special emphasis on men who are sexually active with other men" and urging anyone who tests positive to isolate to prevent the spread.

A recent study, published in the peer-reviewed academic journal Eurosurveillance, even suggested that it could contaminate surfaces. 

 A section of skin tissue, harvested from a lesion on the skin of a monkey, that had been infected with monkeypox virus (credit: CDC HANDOUT VIA REUTERS) A section of skin tissue, harvested from a lesion on the skin of a monkey, that had been infected with monkeypox virus (credit: CDC HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

The ministry confirmed Israel's first case in late May. 

What is monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a disease caused by the monkeypox virus, itself a zoonotic disease that can infect certain animals, such as people. It is one of several diseases grouped under the family of viruses known as Poxviridae, the most well-known of which is smallpox. 

Since May 2022, cases have been cropping up around the world, especially in Western Europe.

The disease can be contracted in a number of ways but is typically spread when the virus is able to get inside the body through either inhalation, openings in the eyes, nose, or mouth, or just through broken skin. 

Aaron Reich and Shira Silkoff contributed to this report.