Manitoba Health is expanding eligibility for preventative monkeypox vaccination to align with recent recommendations made by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, which now includes:
- cisgender, transgender or two-spirit people 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 diagnosis of a sexually transmitted infection in the last year (expanded from six months);
- have had two or more sexual partners in the last 90 days;
- have attended locations for sexual contact (e.g. bath houses or sex clubs) or are planning to;
- have had anonymous sex in the last 90 days (e.g. using apps, online sites, formal/informal gatherings) or are planning to;
- any sexual contacts of the individuals described above;
- individuals who self-identify as sex workers, regardless of self-identified sex / gender (new); and
- staff or volunteers in sex-on-premises venues where workers may have contact with objects or materials that may be contaminated with the monkeypox virus without the use of personal protective equipment (new).
In addition, Manitoba will now offer a second dose of monkeypox vaccine to all eligible people. The second dose should be given at least 28 days after the first.
Newly eligible individuals can begin booking vaccination appointments on Oct. 6 at 9 a.m.
Manitoba has reported one confirmed case of monkeypox to date. 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.
As of Oct. 2, 997 doses of the vaccine have been administered to eligible people in Manitoba.
Appointments are available in communities across the province. Preventive immunization for eligible people can be booked using the online booking tool at https://patient.petal-health.com/login?groupId=6032beginning. People who do not have internet access can call Health Links-Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or (toll-free) at 1-888-315-9257 for assistance booking appointments.
Public health will also be reaching out to eligible populations to support immunization efforts. If appointments in the online system are not easily accessible, individuals can also contact their local public health office to discuss other options.
Individuals who are a close contact to someone with monkeypox continue to be eligible for post-exposure vaccination and should contact their local public health office to make an appointment.
People who need more information about monkeypox or immunizations can contact their local public health office, their health-care provider or Health Links-Info Santé.
Additional information is also available at: www.gov.mb.ca/health/publichealth/diseases/monkeypox.html.
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