Starting today, November 2, people at increased risk of exposure to the monkeypox virus can make an appointment in Sydney to receive Imvamune, a vaccine that will help protect against infection.
Nova Scotia Health will host two vaccination clinics at the Cape Breton Center for Sexual Health and offer free first and second doses of monkeypox vaccine. The first clinic will open on Tuesday, November 8th and run through Wednesday, November 16th, and the second clinic will open on Tuesday, December 6th and run through Wednesday, December 14th.
The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommends that Imvamune be used as a two-dose preventive vaccine for those most at risk, with doses separated by at least 28 days.
“As soon as we began offering a monkeypox vaccination clinic in Nova Scotia, we knew how important it was to expand access beyond Halifax to other areas of the province to help protect people most at risk of infection. said Dr. Jesse Kancir, a physician. health officer responsible for monkeypox. “I am encouraging everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated with both doses to ensure maximum protection.”
Appointments for the first and second doses are also available at the Halifax Sexual Health Center through Thursday, November 24.
The pre-exposure vaccination program is only available to people who:
1. Identifying as a cisgender or transgender queer man, two-spirit person, or non-binary person who has sexual contact with a cisgender or transgender queer man, two-spirit person, or non-binary person and encounters at least one of the following criteria:
- two or more sexual partners since May as defined above, or planning
- a diagnosis of a bacterial sexually transmitted infection since May
- attended, worked, or volunteered at a social event/place for sexual contact, such as a bathhouse or sex club, since May, or plan to do so
- had anonymous sex since May, or plan to
- has been engaged as a worker or client in sex work since May, or plans to do so.
2. Having sexual contact with someone who meets the above criteria.
The vaccine will only be offered to residents of Nova Scotia or people living in the province for extended periods, such as students in higher education or people here for work, who meet the eligibility criteria.
People who meet the eligibility criteria can book an appointment at: https://novascotia.flow.canimmunize.ca/en/monkeypox-booking
Anyone who needs help booking an appointment or who does not have a Nova Scotia Health Card can call the Sydney Office of Public Health at 902-563-2400.
- work is underway to establish clinics in other areas of the province
- Monkeypox is spread through close contact with an infected person, including contact during sexual activity, direct contact with monkeypox sores (including scabs or healing sores), inhalation from respiratory droplets (by coughing or sneezing) from an infected person and contact with contaminated items such as bedding or clothing
- symptoms of monkeypox usually develop five to 21 days after exposure to the virus
- Monkeypox usually presents initially with fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, headache, muscle pain, joint pain, back pain, and exhaustion; symptoms may progress a day or two later and may include a rash or sores that usually start on the face, legs, or arms and can affect other parts of the body (including the hands, feet, mouth, and genitals)
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