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Almost 6,000 receive monkeypox vaccine in Toronto

Click to play video: 'WHO director calls for increased testing, more access to vaccines and antivirals to combat monkeypox' WHO director calls for increased testing, more access to vaccines and antivirals to combat monkeypox
WATCH ABOVE: World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday said that countries need to increase surveillance through testing and ensure more access to vaccines and antivirals to combat monkeypox as the virus continues to spread. He also said he's concerned about sustained transmission as it could move into higher-risk groups, adding that some children have already been reported infected with the virus in some countries – Jun 29, 2022

Almost 6,000 people in Toronto have received a vaccine for monkeypox, according to the local public health unit.

The city has been hosting community clinics offering the Imvamune vaccine to at-risk people, with locations at Metro Hall and Cloverdale Mall.

A spokesperson for Toronto Public Health told Global News 5,908 people had received a vaccine dose to protect against monkeypox at one of its locally-run clinics as of June 30.

Read more: 10 new monkeypox cases confirmed in Toronto; 33 cases in Ontario to date

“We are working to vaccinate as many eligible individuals who are at risk as possible to protect the community from further spread of monkeypox virus,” a spokesperson said.

Data released by Public Health Ontario shows there were 77 confirmed cases of monkeypox in the province between May 20 and June 30. Almost 82 per cent of those cases were reported in Toronto.

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All 77 cases were reported in men.

Read more: Toronto to begin vaccinating close contacts, high risk against monkeypox

Monkeypox vaccine clinics launched toward the beginning of June, organized by the City of Toronto and the Gay Men’s Sexual Health Alliance, focused on high-risk individuals, including bathhouse workers.

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.”

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