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B.C. health officials telling Americans not to travel to Canada for monkeypox vaccine

Click to play video: 'Province implements policy change after Americans cross border for Monkypox vaccine' Province implements policy change after Americans cross border for Monkypox vaccine
Vancouver Coastal Health has confirmed it is seeing an increase of people from the U.S. crossing the border to get their Monkeypox vaccine here in B.C. Due to a limited supply of vaccines, the province is now implementing a policy change to stop that from happening and ensure there is enough for British Columbians who need the shot. Richard Zussman reports and Keith Baldrey has a break down of monkeypox cases by health region. – Aug 11, 2022

The B.C. government has amended its policy on the monkeypox vaccine and is now asking Americans not to come here to get the vaccine.

The province was providing the vaccine to anyone belonging to the gay and bisexual communities and other men who have sex with men with open drop in clinics during pride week.

But after an increase in Americans travelling to B.C. to get the shot, the province has amended both the policy and updated its website.

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“Due to limited supply, vaccine is intended for residents of Canada or those visiting B.C. for prolonged periods,” the website reads.

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“Do not travel to VCH vaccine clinics from outside Canada for immunization. Contact your local Public Health unit for information about receiving monkeypox vaccine.”

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The province provided more than 10,000 doses of the monkeypox vaccine during Pride Week.

There continues to be a shortage of the vaccine in the United States but British Columbia also has pressure on its vaccine supply.

So far, the campaign appears to be working, with monkeypox case numbers remaining stable in the province.

British Columbians can still book an appointment with their local health authority for a first monkeypox vaccine dose. There is no eligibility for a second dose yet.

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The full eligibility includes two-spirit people who self-identify as belonging to the gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men community, transgender people who self-identify as belonging to the gay, bisexual and other people who have sex with men community and cisgender males who self-identify as belonging to the gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men community.

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To be eligible you also must meet one of the following criteria: have had two or more sexual partners within the past 21 days, received a diagnosis of bacterial STI in the past two months, attended venues or other locations for sexual contact within the past 21 days or had anonymous/casual sex in the past 21 days.

“Vaccine is not available for people of any gender who are not part of the community of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men, unless identified as a close contact of a confirmed case,” the website reads.

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Monkeypox cases have been climbing south of the border, with more than 10,000 Americans having now tested positive, according to figures published late Wednesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The U.S. has reported the most infections of any country in the world since late July. Last week, the federal government in the United States declare monkeypox a Public Health Emergency.

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