While supply is currently limited due to a global shortage, Island Health said it would be offering monkeypox vaccinations on Tuesday and Wednesday this week in Victoria, for those who are considered high risk.
Appointments are available on July 19th and 20th and the health authority is planning to expand the vaccination program to central and northern Vancouver Island next week.
The first case of monkeypox on Vancouver Island was confirmed on July 7th. The affected individual resides on southern Vancouver Island.
The health authority said the risk to the general public is very low, and reiterated that monkeypox does not generally spread easily between people.
#Monkeypox vaccine appointments are available on Tuesday, July 19 and Wednesday, July 20 in #Victoria. Availability will be extended next week. As supply is limited, please only book an appointment if you meet the recommended criteria. Learn more: https://t.co/UOmvZ7zMgy. pic.twitter.com/K22V2EhRZh
— Island Health (@VanIslandHealth) July 15, 2022
While most, but not all, recent global infections are among men who identify as gay, bisexual, or men who have had sex with other men, the virus can affect anyone through close person-to-person contact.
Vaccinations are being provided to high-risk contacts identified through contact tracing.
Symptoms for monkeypox usually appear one to two weeks after exposure, but can take anywhere from five to 21 days to appear.
The disease can occur in two stages, with flu-like symptoms appearing first, followed by a rash usually with sores/blisters. However, many people only get the rash.
People are considered to be infectious from when symptoms first appear until the sores crust over, are dry, and new skin is visible.
Island Health said most people with monkeypox have mild symptoms and do not require any specific interventions.
Those looking to get a vaccine can book online.