Toronto will host two monkeypox vaccination clinics this weekend with expanded eligibility as health officials confirm 21 cases in Ontario, with the majority in the GTA.
The two vaccination clinics will be held on June 18 at The 519 (519 Church St.) between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and at Metro Hall (55 John St.) between 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The clinics are for people over the age of 8 who are transgender or cisgender who self-identify as a man and belong “to the community of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men,” officials say.
To be eligible, these individuals must also belong to one of the following groups:
Be a contact of someone who recently tested positive for monkeypox
Have had two or more sexual partners within the past 21 days
Have been diagnosed with chlamydia, gonorrhea or syphilis infection over the past 21 months
Have attended bathhouses, sex clubs and other venues for sexual contact within the past 21 days
Have had anonymous or casual sex in the past 21 days
The first vaccination clinic for monkeypox was specifically for workers at Toronto bathhouses, with the goal of offering protection to those who have had close contact with someone who tested positive or may be at higher risk of being exposed.
As of Friday, there were 21 cases of monkeypox in Ontario. Of those infections, 18 were identified in Toronto, while singular cases have been reported in Ottawa, Halton, and Middlesex-London.
Provincial officials added there are 11 probable cases and 25 suspected cases.
All confirmed infections have been in men aged 20 to 69, however 12 of the probable and suspected cases have been identified in women.
Health officials have said that monkeypox is spread person-to-person through contact with infected lesions, scabs or body fluids. It can also be transmitted by contact with contaminated materials such as clothing or bedding.
Symptoms include fever, headache, swollen lymph nodes, muscle aches, and the development of a rash or lesions. The rash typically starts on the face before spreading to other body parts.
“Most people recover from monkeypox on their own without treatment,” officials said in a news release issued Friday.
“Vaccination is being offered to protect against monkeypox virus and can help reduce serious symptoms. Like with most vaccines, the Imvamune vaccine can take up to two weeks for residents to be protected from the serious consequences linked to the monkeypox virus.”
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