Health · August 5, 2022

WA Premier Mark McGowan Makes Big Call for Monkeypox Vaccine

Western Australia has registered its first case of monkeypox, but Premier Mark McGowan says he is unlikely to get the vaccine when it becomes available.

It was revealed on Thursday night that a man who had returned from overseas had tested positive for the monkeypox virus but was fine.

When asked on Friday when he would get his vaccine, Mr McGowan replied: “Excuse me?”

The reporter then asked if he would get the vaccine, to which the premier replied, “I don’t think so.”

Mr McGowan said he has not yet received advice on the launch of the vaccine.

“I think they will have limited supplies at this point and I would expect each state to receive a portion based on its population and then we will seek health advice on which portions of the population will receive the vaccine. He said.

WA Health said in a statement Thursday night that the state would receive a limited supply of monkeypox vaccines within a few days.

“These vaccines will be prioritized for the highest-risk groups and plans for vaccine rollout will be formulated,” the statement said.

Mr McGowan said the Health Council had advised the confirmed case was at “very, very low risk” to the wider community.

“Contact tracing has been carried out around this person’s contacts since she returned and she is currently in isolation,” the Premier said.

“I urge anyone returning from overseas who is showing symptoms to be cautious and ensure they are not passing on the disease they are suffering from and to ensure they monitor for symptoms of monkeypox.”

Communicable Disease Control Agency director Paul Armstrong said returnees, particularly from areas with high numbers of monkeypox cases, should remain vigilant.

“We ask the community to remain vigilant and watch for signs of the virus,” said Dr. armstrong

“Monkeypox is transmitted to humans through close contact with an infected person or animal, either direct contact with open lesions or prolonged direct contact or with material contaminated with the virus.

“A person with monkeypox can spread the infection to other people through skin lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets, and contaminated materials such as bedding.”

Initial symptoms may include a fever or headache, while a rash typically develops, appearing as bumps, pimples, or sores and developing into fluid-filled lesions or ulcers.

“While the current overseas outbreak has disproportionately affected men who have sex with men, anyone who has had close contact with a person with monkeypox is advised to monitor themselves for symptoms,” said Dr. armstrong

“People who develop symptoms of monkeypox should isolate themselves, wear a mask and contact their GP or sexual health clinic who can advise on testing for monkeypox.”

Monkeypox is a rare viral infection endemic to central or western Africa, but since May there has been a global increase in cases in non-endemic countries.

More than 50 cases have been registered in Australia.

Originally Posted as ‘I Don’t Think’: WA Premier Mark McGowan Makes Big Call for Monkeypox Vaccine