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Your Covid-19 questions answered

Is there a link between Covid-19 vaccines and monkeypox?

08 July 2022 - 07:00
The World Health Organisation has dismissed claims of a link between Covid-19 vaccinations and the monkeypox outbreak. File photo.
The World Health Organisation has dismissed claims of a link between Covid-19 vaccinations and the monkeypox outbreak. File photo.
Image: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/ File photo

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has dismissed claims of a link between Covid-19 vaccinations and the monkeypox outbreak.

This comes after misleading claims were circulated on social media suggesting vaccines contributed to the monkeypox outbreak in certain countries. 

The organisation said there was no evidence of a link between the two.

“Some people have been linking Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine to the monkeypox outbreak but there is no evidence that they are related, or that the vaccine is causing the monkeypox outbreak,” said the WHO.

The organisation said people have been identifying patterns in Covid-19 data and arriving at the wrong conclusion. 

“Don’t confuse correlation and causation. Because two trends happen at the same time does not mean they are related.

“Proving causation requires research. Scientists are continually studying the safety and effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines and have not found that they cause monkeypox,” WHO said. 

Monkeypox in SA

Last month, health minister Dr Joe Phaahla called for vigilance as the country recorded another positive case of monkeypox. 

The second case was a 32-year-old man from Cape Town who had no travel history, which suggested a high possibility of local transmission.

“Though monkeypox is less contagious than smallpox and causes less severe illness ... the situation is slowly evolving with cases being recorded,” said Phaahla. 

Phaahla urged the public to observe good hygiene practices and other measures which proved effective in preventing Covid-19 and other infectious diseases from spreading.

“The source and linkage of cases remains under investigation and the health department, working with the NICD (National Institute for Communicable Diseases), constantly assess the risk for local transmission in collaboration with the WHO in line with international health regulations.

“Health officials will continue with contact tracing while closely monitoring the situation and alert clinicians on symptoms to look for, and if the clinical picture fits with monkeypox, they are urged to complete case investigation form and send samples for testing,” he said

Members of the public who experience symptoms similar to monkeypox are urged to report to their nearest healthcare facility for early detection and successful treatment. 

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