Peterborough Public Health will host its first monkeypox vaccination clinic in early August as cases continue to climb in Ontario.
The health unit on Wednesday said there are two confirmed cases of monkeypox within its jurisdiction of Peterborough, Peterborough County, Curve Lake First Nation and Hiawatha First Nation. The first confirmed case in the region was reported on June 22.
As of July 25, Ontario has reported 326 confirmed cases.
The health unit will host a vaccination clinic at its sexual health clinic (185 King St. in Peterborough) on Friday, Aug. 5, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Clients will be offered the smallpox vaccine Imavune which the health unit says may prevent monkeypox infection or prevent the development of severe symptoms.
“Currently, there is limited supply of Imvamune in Ontario,” the health unit stated. “As such, locations in Ontario with confirmed cases can provide Imvamune as a pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to eligible residents.”
The health unit notes the clinic is not intended for close contacts of a confirmed or probable case of monkeypox. Residents who think they might be a close contact should immediately call their health care provider or Peterborough Public Health to report their status and receive guidance.
Eligible residents can book an appointment by calling the clinic at 705-748-2021, Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Walk-ins are not accepted.
“The world Health Organization describes Monkeypox as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern,” states medical officer of health Dr. Thomas Piggott. “Peterborough Public Health encourages all eligible trans- and cis-gender members of the gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (gbMSM) community to book an appointment to receive protection through pre-exposure vaccination. We advise folks to check our monkeypox webpage for more information and updates.”
The health unit says those eligible for the vaccine are trans- or cis-gender individuals (ages 18 and older) who self-identify as belonging to the gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (gbMSM) community, have not received a COVID-19 vaccine within the past four weeks, and have at least one of the following:
- Have received a diagnosis of bacterial STI (such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis) in the past two months
- Have had two or more sexual partners within the past 21 days or may be planning to
- Have attended venues for sexual contact within the past 21 days (such as, bath houses, sex clubs) or may be planning to, or who work/volunteer in these settings
- Have had anonymous sex in the past 21 days or may be planning to
- Engage in sex work or may be planning to, and their sexual contacts.
The health unit says residents who are immunocompromised, pregnant, or breastfeeding may be at higher risk for severe illness from a monkeypox infection. These residents should contact a public health nurse at 705-743-1000 ext. 131 for consideration of PrEP if they are at risk of contracting monkeypox.
Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit case
On Wednesday, the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit reported its first lab-confirmed case of the monkeypox virus in its region.
The health unit says the case involves a resident in Northumberland County who is currently recovering and in isolation. The health unit says it has also completed follow-up with the individual and has contacted anyone else who may have had close contact with this case, including those who may require vaccination against the virus.
“We want to reassure everyone that we are notifying and following up with all close contacts. The risk to the public is low,” stated MOH Dr. Natalie Bocking. “Monkeypox cases have been circulating in Ontario for a couple of months, including in our neighbouring health unit regions, so the finding of a local case is not a surprise.”
Symptoms of monkeypox can present within five to 21 days of exposure to someone who has the virus. Symptoms can include:
- Rash or blister in mouth and around genital areas
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Fever and chills
- Muscle aches