A German court has rejected an emergency application to lift a quarantine order on the roommate of a man who has monkeypox in the northwest state of North Rhine-Westphalia even though the man was vaccinated.
Because he had been vaccinated, the roommate argued that he did not need to isolate himself. The court, however, upheld the decision of the Dusseldorf health department, which imposed a 21-day quarantine order on him, the German newspaper Rheinische Post reports.
On Wednesday, the court decided that the vaccination was invalid since the European Union has not approved the JYNNEOS vaccine for use, and there have not been any accepted efficacy data for the vaccine in the EU.
As per a court spokesman, according to a statement released by the court, the court's decisions were based on findings and guidelines generated by the Robert Koch Institute in Germany, which is the equivalent of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States.
The Robert Koch Institute says a high-risk contact is someone who has spent at least one night in the same living quarters as someone with an MPV diagnosis during the infectious period of MPV. A 21-day quarantine period is recommended for high-risk contacts.
Because the vaccine has not yet been approved for use against monkeypox in the EU, and no public data has yet been collected regarding its effectiveness, the German government does not consider its protective effect against both smallpox and monkeypox infections and diseases as having been studied.
The court considered an individual's right to liberty but ruled that a compelling public interest safeguards the population and health system from stress, outweighs any burden, and justifies the implementation of three weeks of restricted movement.
The person can appeal to a higher court in the city of Munster if they disagree with the decision.
As of Thursday, Germany reported MPV cases in each of the country's 16 states. Officials there report 3,063 MPV cases of which 11 are women.
During a call with reporters Thursday morning, Dr. Kevin Ard, medical director of the National LGBTQIA+ Health Education Center and director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Sexual Health Clinic noted that in the U.S. people who have contracted MPV and those who may need to quarantine will require a support infrastructure to assist with the difficulties of quarantine.
No mandatory quarantine orders surrounding MPV have been implemented in the U.S.
For more information about monkeypox visit the CDC's website here.