Quebec expands monkeypox vaccine access across the province as cases grow

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MONTREAL - Quebec is expanding access to the monkeypox vaccine amid signs that the virus has begun to spread outside Montreal.

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MONTREAL – Quebec is expanding access to the monkeypox vaccine amid signs that the virus has begun to spread outside Montreal.

Public health director Luc Boileau told a news conference today that men across the province who report sexual contact with other men, other than one exclusive partner, will now be eligible for a vaccine.

Boileau said that until now, monkeypox vaccination efforts have been concentrated on men living in or visiting Montreal, which at one point accounted for 10 per cent of the world’s cases.

A man receives a monkeypox vaccine at an outdoor walk-in clinic in Montreal, Saturday, July 23, 2022. Quebec is expanding access to the monkeypox vaccine amid signs that the virus has begun to spread outside Montreal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

While Montreal’s share of cases is no longer that high, he said authorities are worried about infections cropping up in other regions that don’t appear connected to the city.

He said the province has received enough vaccine to expand access in other regions, and he urged those who might be at risk to seek a shot.

Boileau said Quebec’s overall cases are rising slowly, with 373 as of Tuesday, but he said fast action is needed to prevent a wider spread.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 4, 2022.

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