Issue Briefs

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Monkeypox Vaccines – The Next Big Push

Issue Brief: Monkeypox Vaccines – The Next Big Push 

An AFLDS Issue Brief for Citizens and Policymakers

You DO NOT need a monkeypox vaccine to protect yourself and your family.

As we previously reported, on July 23, 2022, The World Health Organization declared monkeypox a global emergency of international health concern. Monkeypox is not currently an airborne disease. On August 4, 2022, the Health and Human Services Secretary, Xavier Becerra, announced that Monkeypox is now a public health emergency in the United States.[1]  New York, California, and Illinois have all separately declared Monkeypox emergencies within their states.[2] Monkeypox has been around for decades. Recently, small outbreaks are being reported, mainly among gay male populations in non-monogamous relationships. However, Dr. Michael Ryan, Executive Director of WHO Health Emergencies Programs, reported that it is important both that it be taken seriously and that we make collective efforts to support that community affected.[3]

Accordingly, governments all over the world are acquiring mass quantities of monkeypox vaccines. The United States has ordered millions of vaccine doses and has ramped up testing.[4]  Mainstream media fuels the fire by over-sensationalizing the risk of monkeypox and assuring viewers that regardless of sexual habits, we are all indeed at great risk of contracting monkeypox. This narrative sets everyone up to “protect themselves and others” through vaccination.  Sound familiar? 

If you receive the monkeypox vaccine you are part of a clinical trial for data collection.

At the recent WHO emergency meeting where monkeypox was declared a global emergency of international health concern, Tim Nguyen, Unit Head for The WHO stated:

          I would like to underline one thing that is very important to W.H.O.  We do have uncertainties around the effectiveness of these vaccines because they haven’t been used in this context and on this scale before, and therefore when these vaccines are being developed that they are delivered in the context of clinical trial studies and prospectively collecting this data to increase on our understanding on the effectiveness of these vaccines.[5] 

The physicians at AFLDS agree with the WHO special advisory committee’s ruling NOT to declare an emergency regarding Monkeypox as this infection is NOT highly transmissible. Additionally, AFLDS raises a red flag and cautions all persons considering vaccination against monkeypox to carefully perform their own cost versus benefit analysis.  There is very little efficacy data for the currently available “monkeypox vaccine.”  Sound familiar? 

The Monkeypox Facts:

  • Monkeypox virus is an orthopox DNA virus related to the virus that causes smallpox.  
  • Monkeypox is spread by direct contact with monkeypox skin lesions or scabs, contact with materials used by those with active infection, and by the sneezes and coughs of those actively infected. 
  • Symptoms usually include fever, malaise, sweats, lymphadenopathy, and headache, followed by the eruption of skin lesions 2-4 days later. In past outbreaks lesions usually erupt on palms, soles of feet, and mucous membranes. 
  • In the current outbreak, about 73-90% of lesions are localized to the ano/genital area and 95-99% of transmission is thought to occur through sexual contact.
  • Of those infected with monkeypox 96-98% are gay/bisexual men, with around 30% having concomitant sexually transmitted infections and 30-40% being HIV positive. 

And the Vax Facts:

There are currently two “monkeypox vaccines” available. Both vaccines are attenuated nonreplicating live viral vaccines. Although the live virus in the vaccines generally cannot replicate, they may be able to gain replication competence by recombining with other viruses present in the body. The CDC’s website states that they have NO DATA on the effectiveness of either of these two vaccines against the current outbreak of monkeypox.[6]

  1. ACAM2000 is a smallpox vaccine that is being used for monkeypox under an Expanded Access Investigational New Drug application. 

The ACAM2000 vaccine is currently not recommended due to substantially high rates of adverse events, specifically myocarditis.

  1. Bavarian Nordic’s JYNNEOS is designed specifically for monkeypox.

Public health agencies are currently recommending the JYNNEOS vaccine. However, this vaccine is not without concerns as 18.4% of participants were found to have elevated troponin (a marker for myocarditis) post-vaccination. 

Further, Dr. Nguyen of the WHO warned that efficacy data concerning JYNNEOS was limited, stating:

“We do not know if JYNNEOS will fully protect against monkeypox virus infection in this outbreak. Individuals wanting to minimize their risk of infection should take additional preventive measures and self-isolate as soon as they develop monkeypox symptoms, such as a rash.[7]

World governments declared Covid-19 injections to be a miraculous medical treatment that is safe and effective for every single person, regardless of age or condition.  Thus far, the term “safe and effective” has never been openly and outwardly attributed to the monkeypox vaccines. However, the JYNNEOS vaccine lists virtually no contraindications other than that an individual emergency authorization approval is required for anyone under the age of 18.  The CDC admits to having no data on the safety of this vaccine for pregnant or nursing women but claims it is safe for them to receive because no adverse effects were found in animal studies. The CDC further states they will be collecting data on the efficacy of this vaccine against the current monkeypox strain as people continue receiving it.  Again, the people who take these vaccines will be part of the clinical trial. 

What Should You Do?

As a matter of policy, it is important to clarify the level of actual risk involved in the potential spread of the monkeypox virus. Given that the monkeypox virus is generally being spread via intimate contact, its spread is currently of very low incidence, and the efficacy of the current vaccine is not well known.  Thus, we at AFLDS issue the following guidelines:

  1. There is no need for social distancing and mask-wearing as the monkeypox virus is generally not spread through respiratory droplets.
  2. Medical Care workers should never be pressured to take either monkeypox vaccine when efficacy at preventing transmission and symptoms is relatively unknown and both vaccines appear to have risks associated with myocarditis. 

In other words, the AFLDS guidelines include living your life, loving your normal activities, embracing the upcoming seasonal change, enjoying your family, and refusing to live in the fear bubble.  How can you stay out of the fear bubble?  Turn off your television, stay away from all mainstream media, exercise and enjoy outdoor activities, and “unplug” from your cell phone and devices whenever possible.


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