If you’re an eligible individual on Vancouver Island and want to get vaccinated against monkeypox, you can book an appointment today.
Island Health said in an e-mailed statement to CHEK News that they will be opening up more bookings today as they will be receiving another shipment of vaccine next week. To book an appointment, click here.
“If no appointments are currently available in your region, please check back later. The risk to the public remains very low and vaccination of high-risk individuals remains the most effective tool to mitigate the risk of transmission,” the health authority said in a statement.
Island Health said they have received 900 doses of vaccine and that the vast majority will be administered by end of the day (Aug. 5). A small amount is being held for people identified through contact tracing who are at a higher risk of infection.
“The risk to the public remains very low and vaccination of high-risk individuals remains the most effective tool to mitigate the risk of transmission,” the health authority told CHEK News.
Anyone can become infected with monkeypox as transmission occurs predominantly through close prolonged physical contact. The virus can also transmit through touching linens used by an infected person.
However, global epidemiology shows that most, but not all, monkeypox infections are among men who identify as gay, bisexual or other men who have sex with men.
People with monkeypox may experience fever, body aches, chills and fatigue. And while there is a vaccine available, there is a worldwide shortage of it.
As a result, Island Health has been offering the vaccine to only those who self-identify as gay, bisexual or as other men who have sex with men, or identify as transgender and meet at least one other criteria requirement.
“Globally, the vaccine is in short supply. In Canada, the vaccine is being prioritized for areas where local transmission is occurring,” Island Health previously told CHEK News.
A total of six monkeypox cases have been recorded on Vancouver Island as of Friday.