Japan Has Stockpile of Smallpox Vaccines: Health Minister

Society Health

Tokyo, May 27 (Jiji Press)--Japan’s health minister Shigeyuki Goto said Friday that the country has a stockpile of domestically produced smallpox vaccines, which are also effective against monkeypox.

The vaccines are kept as part of the government’s preparations against terrorist attacks, he told a press conference, therefore refusing to reveal the amount of the stockpiled vaccines in light of crisis management.

Monkeypox cases have been reported recently in Europe, the United State and elsewhere in the world. The infectious disease similar to smallpox mainly occurs in Africa and causes such symptoms as rashes and fevers, according to the World Health Organization and Japan’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases.

Smallpox vaccines are said to be about 85 pct effective in preventing people from developing symptoms of monkeypox. Britain has been administering smallpox vaccines to people suspected of having monkeypox.

Japan has seen no cases of monkeypox.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press