French Health Minister François Braun said on Monday, that around 1,700 people had been infected with monkeypox in France.
Braun said the government so far had opened about 100 vaccination centers for monkeypox and that more than 6,000 people have received a preventive vaccination.
The health minister said that France would mobilize “extra support” to ensure that enough vaccines can be given, including training medical students to administer jabs.
Braun called on patients who have lesions or other symptoms to self-isolate as soon as possible, AFP reported.
Braun said he did not see a major threat for the general public and said the government would focus its vaccination campaign on target groups considered the most at risk
“The profile (of the patients) is that they are mainly men who have had sexual relations with other men, but one can also be infected by contact with a patient’s blisters,” Braun said in an interview with BFM TV in which he gave the number of infections.
“We have easily enough doses for the populations who are the most at risk from this illness,” Braun added.
Most of the infections have taken place in the Paris region, he said, adding that a dedicated major vaccination center would open in Paris this week.
Paris town hall on Monday called for emergency measures from the state in order to obtain more vaccine doses and extra personnel to administer the vaccine in the capital.
The World Health Organization said on Saturday that the rapidly spreading monkeypox outbreak represents a global health emergency. So far this year, there have been more than 16,000 cases of monkey pox in more than 75 countries, and five deaths in Africa.
The viral disease has been spreading chiefly in men who have sex with men in the recent outbreak, outside Africa where it is endemic.