The German government is distributing 19,500 more monkeypox vaccine doses across the country next week, the Health Ministry said, as demand continues to outstrip supply in hotspots.
Some 40,000 doses were shipped to Germany’s states in June and another 5,300 in July, dpa news agency reported on Saturday.
The federal government has signed contracts for a total of 240,000 doses.
Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said the spread of the disease needs be prevented by all available means.
“This includes good contact tracing by the health offices, comprehensive education and the vaccination of people particularly at risk,” he said.
Sven Lehmann, the government’s commissioner overseeing issues in the queer community, said: “The willingness to vaccinate, especially among men who have sex with men, is high.”
“But especially in hotspots, the demand is much higher than the supply,” Lehmann said, adding that in some cities, those seeking vaccinations are having difficulty getting appointments.
There have been 3,405 cases of monkeypox reported in Germany since May.
The vaccine Germany has procured is Imvanex and is also used to treat smallpox.
The monkeypox virus usually causes only mild symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle pain and skin rash. In rare cases, however, it can be fatal.
The World Health Organization says that since the current global monkeypox outbreak emerged, the majority of cases have been found in men who have sex with men, and in particular those with multiple partners.