- According to recent recommendations from the national body that advises the government on vaccines, Canadians who are at high risk of contracting monkeypox should get vaccinated as soon as possible.
- At least 112 cases of monkeypox had been confirmed in Canada as of Friday, with all of those sick being men.
According to new guidance from the national agency that advises the government on vaccines, Canadians who are at high risk of catching monkeypox — not just those sick — should get vaccinated.
Following a review of the current status of the monkeypox epidemic in Canada, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) issued new guidelines on Friday, recommending that anyone at rising risk of exposure to a probable or confirmed case of monkeypox or who has visited a location where the virus is being transmitted, receive one dose of the Imvamune vaccine.
According to NACI, immunocompromised, pregnant or lactating, or adolescents and teens at a higher risk of exposure may also be administered immunizations.
Health Canada has approved the use of Imvamune to treat monkeypox, which is generally used to treat smallpox.
Those who have been disclosed to the virus should get their vaccine within four days of exposure, according to Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s national health officer, during a briefing in Ottawa on Friday.
“The NACI suggestion is to give one dose to someone who knows they’ve been in contact with a case or been in a high-risk exposure scenario,” she explained.
According to the guidelines, a second dose should only be given in exceptional circumstances.
Local public health officials are working with companies and communities in Canada where outbreaks occur to identify possible exposure sites and contact anyone who may have been infected with the virus there, Tam said.
She went on to say that, given the magnitude of the outbreaks thus far, mass immunization against monkeypox is not warranted at this time.
“At this time, the risk to the general population is modest.”
As of Friday, at least 112 instances of monkeypox had been confirmed in Canada, with all of those infected being male.
There are 98 suspected instances in Quebec, nine in Ontario, four in Alberta, and one in British Columbia, with more being researched.
Close physical contact, particularly intimate sexual contact or exposure to scabs or bodily fluids, as well as contaminated bed linens, are the most common ways for monkeypox to spread.
Although the virus can transmit to anybody who has had sexual contact with an infected person, the majority of cases in Canada are presently among men who have had sexual intercourse with other men, Tam explained that the virus could spread to anyone who had contact with an infected person.
Tam stated that the Public Health Agency of Canada is working with vaccine makers to guarantee that the Imvamune vaccine is available in sufficient quantities in the future.
During the meeting on Friday, deputy chief public health officer Dr. Howard Njoo noted in French that Canada “does not have a limitless supply” of this vaccine.
“However, we feel the pandemic may be contained with a good strategic approach and prudence.”
Source: Global News
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