|Province advises more monkeypox vaccination|
Manitoba Health advises that additional monkeypox vaccine appointments will be available soon. Eligible people can book online effective immediately. To date, no monkeypox cases have been confirmed in Manitoba.
Manitoba Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin said, "Right now we need to focus on those who are at highest risk with this scarce resource...The vaccine is scarce because there are outbreaks in other regions." (August 11 news conference)
Anyone can become infected with monkeypox. However, in Canada and around the world at this time, infections have been primarily reported among people who self-identify as belonging to the gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (gbMSM) community. These individuals are eligible for a preventative vaccination if they also meet at least one of these criteria:
- have received a diagnosis of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and/or syphilis in the past two months;
- have had two or more sexual partners in the last 21 days;
- have attended locations for sexual contact (e.g., bath houses or sex clubs) or are planning to;
- have had anonymous sex in the past 21 days or are planning to; or
- engage in sex work or plan to, either as a worker or a client.
Individuals who are a close contact to someone with monkeypox are also eligible for post-exposure vaccination. They should contact their local public health office to schedule their vaccination.
Vaccine appointments are available at several sites across the province. Appointments can be booked online at https://patient.petal-health.com. People who do not have internet access can call Health Links-Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or toll-free 1-888-315-9257 to book an appointment.
If the appointments in the online system are not easily accessible, individuals can contact their local public health office to discuss other options.
Monkeypox prevention tips
While not considered a sexually transmitted disease, monkeypox is typically transmitted through close, sustained physical contact. This can include sexual contact.
Vaccination can protect people, but no vaccine is 100 per cent effective. It is important to consider other ways to reduce the risk of exposure, whether or not you have been vaccinated.
To protect yourself and prevent monkeypox:
- consider limiting the number of people you have close skin-to-skin contact with;
- avoid skin-to-skin or face-to-face contact with anyone who has symptoms, and especially avoid touching any rash;
- clean your hands regularly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer;
- clean objects and surfaces that have been touched regularly (e.g., door handles, phones, countertops, etc.) with standard household disinfectants;
- don’t share personal items (e.g., towels, bedding, toothbrushes, sex toys, etc.) with others;
- wear a mask if you are in close proximity with someone who has symptoms;
- avoid touching bedding and laundry that has been used by someone who has monkeypox;
- stay home if you are sick, and encourage others to do the same; and
- get vaccinated if you’re eligible.
For more information about monkeypox and immunizations, contact your local public health office, health-care provider or Health Links-Info Santé.
Manitoba will post regular updates on monkeypox vaccination online.
Source: Manitoba Government