Hamilton adding monkeypox vaccination clinic, by appointment only


Published July 5, 2022 at 2:51 pm

The public health unit in Hamilton will hold  a second pop-up monkeypox vaccination clinic for at-risk community members later this week.

Hamilton Public Health Services (HPHS), which confirmed the first local case of the virus yesterday, says it had “encouraging uptake” from a clinic last week, with over 60 at-risk community members receiving a vaccine. The by-appointment-only clinic this week for for other at-risk community members will be held on Thursday (July 7) from 9 to 11 a.m. and 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the East End Public Health Clinic (247 Centennial Pkwy. N., Unit 8)

Community partners such as The AIDS Network are working with HPHS to ensure at-risk community members are provided with information about the virus and the upcoming clinic.

Individuals can call the Public Health hotline at 905-974-9848, option 7 to book an appointment. Vaccination is being offered to these populations to protect against the monkeypox virus and can help reduce serious symptoms. Similar to many other vaccines, the Imvamune vaccine can take up to two weeks for community members to be protected from serious outcomes associated with the monkeypox virus.

Hamilton Public Health added that media “not be present at the clinic” in order to protect patients’ privacy.

The Ontario Ministry of Health has set guidelines for who is most at risk of contracting the monkeypox virus.

Thursday’s clinic is intended for adults 18-years old and over who are transgender or cisgender individuals who self-identify as a man and belong to the community of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men, as well as at least one of the following:

  • Identify as a contact of an individual who recently tested positive for monkeypox.
  • Have had two or more sexual partners within the past three weeks (21 days) or may be planning to.
  • Have been diagnosed with a chlamydia, gonorrhea or syphilis infection over the past two months.
  • Have attended bath houses, sex clubs and other venues for sexual contact within the past three weeks (21 days); this includes workers and volunteers.
  • Have had anonymous or casual sex in the past three weeks (21 days); for example, after using an online dating app, engaged in or planning to take part in sex work.

Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by a virus that is normally found endemic in central and western Africa. Its symptoms include fever, headaches, muscle aches, exhaustion, swollen lymph nodes, and rashes and lesions that typically start on the face and spread to other parts of the body. Most people recover from monkeypox on their own, but the Imvavune vaccine helps protect against it.

The virus typically spreads through fluids, such as fluids from monkeypox sores, contaminated clothing or bedding, and through respiratory droplets following prolonged face-to-face contact.

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