Oxford vaccine expert calls for ‘substantial’ response to Monkeypox

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A VACCINE expert from Oxford has called for a “substantial public health response” to Monkeypox despite its transmission being slower than Covid-19.

Professor Sir Andrew Pollard, who worked on the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid jab and directs the Oxford Vaccine Group, was speaking after being knighted in recognition of his efforts during the pandemic.

He was knighted by the Prince of Wales for services to public health, particularly during the covid crisis, at an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle on Wednesday (June 8).

A super day at Windsor Castle with HRH Prince of Wales, who asked about the team @OxfordVacGroup pic.twitter.com/Pb0NIgsMUl

— Andrew Pollard (@ajpollard1) June 8, 2022

Sir Andrew said: “The monkeypox virus doesn’t spread as well as Covid does, it also very rarely causes the severity of disease that Covid does, and so spread in the general population is extremely unlikely.

“That doesn’t mean that we don’t need a substantial public health response to control it but it’s not a threat to the whole of public health in the way Covid was.”

READ MORE: Monkeypox insights given by Oxford University expert in wake of Covid pandemic

It comes as the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) announced it has detected 18 additional cases of monkeypox in England, bringing the total to 305.

The virus has been declared a “notifiable disease” in England, meaning all medics must alert local health authorities to suspected cases.

It is spread through close contact with an infected person and symptoms can include a high temperature, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen glands, shivering, exhaustion and, usually, later a rash.

Congratulations to our Sir Andy! 👏 https://t.co/GtZFS1uAOD

— Oxford Vaccine Group (@OxfordVacGroup) June 9, 2022

On being knighted, Sir Andrew said: “Absolutely wonderful to be here at Windsor Castle and to receive a knighthood, which I really feel has been on behalf of a huge number of people that have been involved in the development of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

“I think one of the other very nice things in speaking with the Prince of Wales was that he also recognised how important the team was, and he actually asked about the team of staff that we have at the Oxford Vaccine Group who have been working so hard over the last few years, and extended his thanks to them for all the work they did.”