Health Minister Mark Butler announces next step in Australia’s monkeypox response

The first shipment of nearly half a million doses of a new monkeypox virus vaccine is on the way to Australia.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Health Minister Mark Butler confirmed the government had secured 450,000 doses of the vaccine by Bavarian Nordic.

The first delivery of about 22,000 doses will arrive in the country later this week.

Mr Butler flagged earlier he was in the process of finalising advice following a briefing of national cabinet by Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly on Thursday.

As it stands, 55 cases of monkeypox have been detected in Australia.

“Case numbers are certainly growing in countries that haven‘t traditionally experienced monkeypox – countries outside of Africa,” Mr Butler said.

“We‘re certainly running well behind the level of case reporting you see in the US, Canada, Europe and UK. But we’ve been working very hard on this response for the last several weeks.”

More to come.

Originally published as Health Minister announces next step in Australia’s monkeypox fight