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Monkeypox immunization appointments now available across the province

Eligible Albertans can now receive the monkeypox vaccine.
Those who meet the criteria now have access to the monkeypox vaccine in Alberta. Photo: Metro Creative Connection

Starting today, Albertans aged 18 and older who self-identify as meeting the eligibility criteria for targeted prevention of monkeypox, prior to an exposure, can book an appointment to receive monkeypox vaccine in nine cities across the province, including Edmonton, Calgary, Edson, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Red Deer and. St. Paul.

Appointments are required. Anyone who is eligible and interested in receiving the monkeypox vaccine must call Health Link at 1-866-301-2668 to review eligibility and book an appointment.

Imvamune (smallpox and monkeypox vaccine) has been authorized in Canada for adults who are 18 years and older and who are determined to be at high risk for exposure to the virus. Alberta has been providing Imvamune to close contacts of a confirmed monkeypox case after exposure since June 7.

To help curb the spread of the virus, Alberta expanded the monkeypox vaccine eligibility to include Albertans who are at higher risk of being exposed to monkeypox and began vaccine administration in Calgary and Edmonton on July 29. By expanding availability beyond these two cities, AHS is further enhancing the opportunity for more eligible people in Alberta to receive the vaccine.

Vaccine eligibility

Alberta residents 18 years and older eligible for the monkeypox vaccine include:

  • Transgender, cisgender or two-spirit individuals 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 recent (in the last six months) diagnosis of a sexually transmitted infection.
    • Are planning to have, or in the past 90 days had, sex outside of a mutually monogamous relationship.
    • Have attended venues for sexual contact within the past 90 days (e.g., bath houses, sex clubs) or may be planning to.
  • Any sexual contacts of the individuals described above.
  • Staff and volunteers in a social setting or venue or event where sexual activities between men (individuals described above) may take place.

Protection against monkeypox virus

Close contacts of people suspected or confirmed to have a monkeypox infection may also be eligible for post-exposure immunization. Immunization is recommended up to 14 days, and ideally within 4 days, after exposure to help prevent illness. Close contacts are also advised to self-monitor for 21 days after their last exposure. If symptoms develop, they should self-isolate, seek care and get tested. Call 811 for further information.

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