Monkeypox vaccine available in Sudbury for qualified individuals

Public Health Sudbury and Districts has the Imvamune vaccine only for certain people considered to be at high risk of the disease

A public health alert issued this week revealed that a monkeypox vaccine is now available from Public Health Sudbury and Districts (PHSD).

The alert was sent to “Local Health System Partners” in the Sudbury jurisdiction by Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, PHSD’s Medical Officer of Health.

PHSD said Imvamune is a live, attenuated (weakened), nonreplicative vaccine used as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) against monkeypox. Health Canada first approved the use of this vaccine in 2013 for active immunization against smallpox in a public health emergency, the health unit said.

Sutcliffe’s notice said the Imvamune vaccine is available to people 18 and older who are considered at high risk of exposure.

Generally, this would include transgender or cisgender people who identify as gay or bisexual, or men who otherwise have sex with men, are eligible to receive Imvamune, according to the alert.

Full details of the qualification criteria are available on the public health website.

People who are immunocompromised, pregnant or breastfeeding may be at higher risk of serious illness from monkeypox infection, the health unit said. Anyone in these categories should contact Public Health Sudbury to consider pre-exposure prophylaxis if they are at risk of contracting monkeypox.

PHSD said the vaccine can be used as post-exposure treatment (PEP) for people with recent high-risk exposures to monkeypox. A single dose of the vaccine should be given within four days (up to 14 days) of the date of the last exposure to a confirmed or probable case of monkeypox.

The notice also said eligible people who want to receive a pre-exposure vaccine should call Public Health at 705-522-9200, ext. 482 (1-866-522-9200 toll-free) or RĂ©seau ACCESS Network at 705-688-0500. Individuals can also call Public Health at ext. 772 if they are looking for PEP.

For information on case and contact management, contact the Infectious Disease Control program at 705-522-9200, ext. 772 (toll free 1-866-522-9200).

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