Starting today, September 15, people who are at highest risk of being exposed to the monkeypox virus can get a vaccine to help protect against infection before they are exposed.
The Halifax Sexual Health Centre will offer free monkeypox vaccine appointments until Thursday, October 6. Work is underway to establish more pre-exposure vaccination programs in other areas of the province.
Appointments will be available to people who:
1. Identify as a cisgender or transgender queer man, a two-spirit person or a non-binary person who has sexual contact with a cisgender or transgender queer man, a two-spirit person or a non-binary person, and meet at least one of the following criteria:
— two or more sexual partners as defined above in the last three months, or is planning to
— a diagnosis of a bacterial sexually transmitted infection in the last three months
— attended, worked at, or volunteered at an event/social venue for sexual contact, such as a bath house or sex club, in the last three months, or is planning to
— had anonymous sex in the last three months, or is planning to
— engaged as a worker or a client in sex work, or is planning to.
2. Have sexual contact with someone who meets the above criteria.
Only residents of Nova Scotia or people living in the province for prolonged periods, such as post-secondary students or people here for work, who meet the eligibility criteria can get a single dose of the vaccine. People who have already received the vaccine in another jurisdiction are not eligible.
People who meet the eligibility criteria can book an appointment at: https://novascotia.flow.canimmunize.ca/en/monkeypox-booking . Anyone who needs help booking an appointment or does not have a Nova Scotia health card can call the Halifax Sexual Health Centre at 902-455-9656, ext 0.
More information about monkeypox, including how it spreads and what symptoms to look for, can be found at: https://novascotia.ca/monkeypox/
— Nova Scotia currently has 2,000 doses of the monkeypox vaccine Imvamune available and will continue to work with the federal government if additional vaccine is needed
— Imvamune is intended for people 18 years of age and older, but people who are younger, meet eligibility criteria and are at higher risk of severe outcomes from monkeypox may get a shot
— the Province worked closely with the Halifax Sexual Health Centre in creating the vaccine clinic and was guided by community and academic leaders and groups, including Sexual Health Nova Scotia, prideHealth, the AIDS Coalition of Nova Scotia and Community-Based Research Centre of Vancouver
Government of Canada monkeypox resource page: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/monkeypox.html