Provinces could soon have access to vaccines as monkeypox spreads

May 25 2022, 9:54 pm

Canada’s Public Health Agency says there is “ongoing planning with provinces and territories to provide access to approved vaccines in Canada that, if required, can be used in managing monkeypox in their jurisdiction.”

However, at this point, and in alignment with international expert assessments, including the World Health Organization (WHO), PHAC says there is no need for the vaccine to be used for mass immunization.

It comes as the health agency announces there are currently 16 cases of monkeypox in Canada — all of them in Quebec.

“As a preparedness step, PHAC provided Quebec with a small shipment of Imvamune vaccine from Canada’s National Emergency Strategic Stockpile (NESS) to support their targeted response. Similarly, as warehousing and cold chain operations are confirmed, other jurisdictions will begin receiving limited pre-positioning supply shipments.”

The release says that as warehousing and cold chain operations are confirmed, other jurisdictions will begin receiving limited pre-positioning supply shipments of vaccine.

Right now, cases of monkeypox are being treated in local health clinics, but the health agency is expected to provide updated guidance on infection, prevention and control in the coming days.

It will be based on the experience of international and domestic partners and the National Advisory Committee on Immunizations (NACI) recommendations in the coming weeks.

On Tuesday, federal health minister Jean-Yves Duclos tried to reassure people about the government’s response to monkeypox.

“I know Canadians are concerned. I want to underscore that the health and safety of all Canadians remain our top priority. The Government of Canada is prepared to respond to emerging public health events and takes precautions to prevent the introduction and spread of communicable diseases,” said Duclos.

Amanda WawrykAmanda Wawryk

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