Monkey disease continues to spread in Europe. In Switzerland, nearly 400 cases have been registered since the end of May, making it the sixth most affected country in the world per million people. In the province of Neuchâtel, one case has been identified.
According to the FOPH, the first and second generation smallpox vaccines provide effective protection against the disease, but they are not currently approved in Switzerland. So this situation forces some Neuchâtel residents to go abroad to get their doses.
A file in the hands of the Federal Council
The Federal Office of Public Health notes that it is currently negotiating with Danish manufacturer Bavarian Nordic to purchase batches of the vaccine. However, it is impossible to know when they will be available. Another obstacle remains: Swiss medicine has yet to receive a request for authorization of the vaccine from federal authorities. Under the Epidemics Act, this action can be accelerated if the Federal Council declares a state of emergency. But no decision has been taken in this direction yet.
This situation angers associations for the protection of LGBT rights. Men who have sex with other men are currently the most affected by monkeypox in Europe. So the Pink Cross launched a petition last Wednesday, which asks the Federal Council to act in the fight against the epidemic.
Emergency solutions in neighboring France
Those who want to be vaccinated quickly at all costs turn to neighboring France or Italy, but the task is not easy. According to RTS, vaccination centers near Geneva refuse to administer the Swiss vaccine. On the other hand, the RTN contacted the center of Besançon, which currently accepts Swiss people among those at risk. This applies to men who have sex with men, people in prostitution situations or people who work in places of sexual consumption.
No specific request from the province of Neuchâtel
In order to speed up the process of obtaining vaccines, Geneva and Vat provinces have started negotiations on their part, as allowed by federal law. RTS. But according to cantonal doctor Claude Francois Robert, such an approach does not currently exist in the Neuchatel region. People at risk from the LGBT community are few in the region and only one case has been detected in the region so far. Neuchâtel officials await the outcome of the federal proceedings.
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