A monkeypox vaccine has now been authorized in Canada for adults who are 18-year-old and older and are determined to be at high risk for exposure to the virus. The vaccine called ‘Imvamune’ now available to some people in Alberta starting today.
“Although anyone can catch the monkeypox virus through close physical contact, during the current outbreak, gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men have been impacted the most, especially those with new or multiple sexual partners. Those eligible for the monkeypox vaccine should consider getting a dose and at the same time take other recommended measures to reduce the risk of exposure,” said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health.
The vaccine supply is limited at this time. The monkeypox vaccine will be made available to eligible individuals, starting in Edmonton and Calgary where all confirmed cases to date have been located. As more vaccine becomes available over the coming weeks, vaccine availability will expand to other centres across Alberta.
Albertans eligible for the vaccine include:
- Transgender, cisgender or two-spirit individuals who self-identify as belonging to the gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (gbMSM) community and who meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Have received a recent (in the last six months) diagnosis of a sexually transmitted infection.
- Are planning to have, or in the past 90 days had, sex outside of a mutually monogamous relationship.
- Have attended venues for sexual contact within the past 90 days (e.g., bath houses, sex clubs) or may be planning to, or who work/volunteer in these settings.
- Any sexual contacts of the individuals described above.
- Staff and volunteers in a social setting or venue or event where sexual activities between men (individuals described above) may take place.
Due to the limited vaccine availability, anyone who is eligible at this time and is interested in receiving the monkeypox vaccine must call Health Link at 1-866-301-2668 to review eligibility and book an appointment.