With evidence of limited local transmission of monkeypox in Vancouver, Fraser Health is planning a focused vaccination strategy for people at highest risk for monkeypox.

These groups will be offered vaccine as pre-exposure prophylaxis.

The early use of immunization in higher-risk groups along with continued case and contact tracing efforts by Public Health are key strategies used to reduce transmission and prevent severe illness from monkeypox.

Imvamune® (smallpox/monkeypox vaccine) use for monkeypox prevention:

Vaccine is being prioritized for those at highest risk.

People eligible for pre-exposure prophylaxis with vaccine include men/transgender people who self-identify as gay, bisexual, other men who have sex with men AND have one or more of the following:

  • Have been diagnosed with a bacterial sexually transmitted infections (i.e. Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis) in the past two months
  • Had two or more sexual partners in the past 21 days
  • Attended or are planning to attend venues such as bathhouses, sex clubs and park play
  • Had anonymous sex in the past 21 days or are planning to have anonymous sex
  • Engage in sex work or plan to as a worker or client.

People who live in the Fraser Health region and are eligible for the vaccine can book themselves an appointment online. No ID or MSP number is required for vaccination.

Focused outreach clinics may be offered to those at highest risk based on identified needs in the community.

Due to limited supply, this vaccine is intended for residents of Canada or those visiting B.C. for prolonged periods of time. People from outside Canada should not travel to Fraser Health vaccine clinics for immunization; we cannot provide the vaccine to those visiting the province for the purpose of being vaccinated. Please contact your local public health unit for information about receiving monkeypox vaccine.

At this time, Imvamune® is not available or recommended for the general public.

Monkeypox reminders for clinicians

Presentation: Monkeypox should be suspected especially in the presence of compatible vesicular lesions presenting primarily in the inguinal or perianal regions. Features may overlap with sexually transmitted infections. A flu-like prodrome may or may not precede the rash by several days.

Transmission: Skin-to-skin contact, especially with lesions present is the predominant mode of transmission. Transmission with fomites via contaminated objects can also occur with droplet transmission via prolonged face-to-face contact more rarely.

Testing: Diagnosis is confirmed via PCR testing of lesion material such as roofs, crusts or aspirate using dry swabs or swabs in Universal Transport Medium (UTM). Samples should be shipped refrigerated to the BCCDC for testing.

PPE: Universal precautions with a medical mask and eye protection are considered sufficient for the testing clinician in a community setting

Prevention: Suspected monkeypox cases should be instructed to limit their contact until results are obtained, cover lesions, and practice frequent hand and respiratory hygiene.

Treatment: Most individuals with monkeypox do not require any specific interventions other than supportive therapies

To stay up to date on resources and tools related to monkeypox, please visit: bccdc.ca/monkeypox

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