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Toronto to begin vaccinating close contacts, high risk against monkeypox

Click to play video: '112 monkeypox confirmed cases across Canada: PHAC' 112 monkeypox confirmed cases across Canada: PHAC
WATCH ABOVE: The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has confirmed a total of 112 monkeypox cases, chief medical officer of health Dr. Theresa Tam announced on Friday. This includes one case in B.C., four in Alberta, nine in Ontario, and 98 in Quebec. She also confirmed all the cases are in men – Jun 10, 2022

Vaccination clinics will be held for those at risk of the monkeypox virus, Toronto Public Health has announced.

Clinics will begin Sunday, marking the start of a series of community vaccination hubs, public health said. The clinics have been organized with the help of the Gay Men’s Sexual Health Alliance and other community partners.

Vaccinations will be targeted at people who have come in close contact with someone who has tested positive for the monkeypox virus and people at higher risk of exposure.

“A clinic on Sunday, June 12, will vaccinate employees in Toronto bathhouses,” Toronto Public Health said.

Read more: Monkeypox in Canada: 112 infections reported as global cases top 1,000

There are 11 confirmed cases of Monkeypox in Toronto so far. Nationally, there are at least 112 cases in Canada and all those infected are male.

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Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, said most of the cases are among men who said they had had sexual contact with other men, though the virus can spread to anyone who has had close physical contact with an infected person.

According to Toronto Public Health, the virus spreads through contact with body fluids, including contaminated clothing or bedding. It can also spread through respiratory droplets following “prolonged” face-to-face contact and through bites and scratches from animals.

“Anyone, regardless of sexual orientation, can spread monkeypox through contact with body fluids, monkeypox sores or by sharing contaminated items,” Toronto Public Health said. “However, during this outbreak, in a number of countries, gay, bisexual and men who have sex with men have been affected.”

Read more: Monkeypox: Vaccine recommended for Canadians at high risk of exposure

On Friday, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) published its interim guidance on monkeypox vaccination. A vaccine — Imvamne — was approved by Health Canada in 2020 and can be used against diseases including monkeypox and smallpox.

“Thank you to the Gay Men’s Sexual Health Alliance and all our community partners who are helping inform and encourage people to take care of their health by getting the vaccine to prevent catching monkeypox,” Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s medical officer of health, said in a statement.

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— with files from The Canadian Press

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