Smallpox is still a threat

Discussions on small pox and other viruses at World Vaccine Congress Asia

Smallpox? Didn't the WHO declared it as eradicated in the 80s? Most of us are lulled into having a false sense of security that Smallpox is a disease of yesteryears, but the virus is still around, and it is still a threat.

Similarly to terrorism, the outbreak of smallpox can possessed fear and affect the whole region as they are known to be a dangerous and infectious disease that had already killed more than 30,000 people around the globe. It is difficult for doctors and researchers to detect symptoms of this disease, yet, there is still no proves of treatment to cure smallpox which resulted in high mortality rate.

At World Vaccine Congress Asia last June, Mick Martin, the Regional Director, Governmental Affairs APAC of Bavaria Nordic and Suebpong Sangkharomy, a Retired Lietenant General and Consultant for Royal Thai Army Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Science joined us for a discussion on this "old" disease.
They mentioned that the ‘stop' in producing smallpox vaccinations has also cleared way for monkeypox, which can kill 1 out of 10 infected people, when an outbreak occurred. Such outbreak would give collateral damage from the local to the global regions and it will spread rapidly like SARS, which happened few years ago.

Therefore, each and every one of us has the responsibility in minimising the consequences by ‘be prepared' and alternatively, having the right vaccine to resolve such outbreaks. So, what is believed to be the right vaccine? The 2 speakers summarized the key factors in addressing the question as follows:

  • Safe for total population
  • Treatment post exposure
  • Full protection (known as High Efficiency)
  • Fast onset of protection
  • Easy handling

They then introduced the audience with the optimal solution, "IMVAMUNE"; that is identified as the only generation of 3 smallpox vaccine. This introduction is treated as a piece of important news for the military as it is easier to handle, safer and higher efficiency as compared to the old vaccine.

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