WA Premier Mark McGowan makes big call for monkeypox vaccine

Western Australia has recorded 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 evening that a man who had returned from overseas had tested positive for the monkeypox virus but was doing well.

Asked when he was getting his shot on Friday, Mr McGowan replied: ‘Sorry?’

The journalist then asked if he would agree to be vaccinated, to which the Prime Minister replied: “I don’t think so”.

Mr McGowan said he had not yet received advice on the rollout of the vaccine.

“I think they’re going to have a limited supply at this point and I expect each state to get a portion based on their population and then we’ll take health advice on what elements of the population will get the vaccine. , I said

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

“These vaccines will be prioritized for groups most at risk and plans for vaccine deployment are being developed,” the statement said.

Mr McGowan said the health advice indicated there was a ‘very, very low risk’ to the wider community from the confirmed case.

“There has been contact tracing around this person’s contacts since his return and he is currently self-isolating,” the prime minister said.

“I’m just urging anyone returning from overseas who has symptoms to be careful and make sure they don’t spread the disease they have, and make sure they watch for symptoms of monkeypox.”

Communicable Disease Control Directorate director Paul Armstrong said returning travellers, especially from areas with high numbers of monkeypox cases, should remain vigilant.

“We ask the community to continue to be vigilant and watch for signs of the virus,” Dr Armstrong said.

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

“A person with monkeypox can transmit the infection to others through broken skin, bodily fluids, respiratory droplets, and contaminated materials such as bedding.”

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

“While the current outbreak overseas has disproportionately affected men who have sex with men, anyone who has had close contact with someone with monkeypox is advised to self-monitor for symptoms. “, said Dr. Armstrong.

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

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

More than 50 cases have been recorded in Australia.

Originally published as ‘I don’t think so’: WA Premier Mark McGowan makes big call for monkeypox vaccine