PARIS (Reuters) – France’s health authority said on Tuesday it recommended launching a targeted vaccination campaign against monkeypox.

The health authority said it recommends at-risk adults who have been in contact with a confirmed monkeypox patient be vaccinated.

Healthcare workers who have been exposed to a patient with monkeypox should also receive the vaccine, the health authority added.

The authority said this post-exposure reactive strategy makes sense given that the incubation period for the virus is often six to 16 days.

He recommended third-generation monkeypox vaccines and said they should ideally be given within four days and up to 14 days after exposure.

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France currently has three confirmed cases.

Germany – which has registered five cases so far – ordered 40,000 doses of monkeypox vaccine on Tuesday to be ready to vaccinate contacts of people infected with monkeypox if an outbreak in Germany becomes more severe.

The World Health Organization said on Monday that the outbreak does not require mass vaccinations, as measures such as hygiene and safe sexual behavior will help control the spread.

The WHO has recorded more than 250 confirmed and suspected monkeypox infections, with an unusual geographic spread for the disease which is endemic in parts of West and Central Africa but rare elsewhere.

(Report by GV De Clercq, edited by Tassilo Hummel and Jane Merriman)

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