Canada taking ‘targeted’ approach to monkeypox vaccination and treatment, says Dr. Howard Njoo

Monkeypox. Image credit: CDC

Dr. Howard Njoo, the deputy chief public health officer told a news conference on May 26 that there are now 26 confirmed cases of monkeypox in Canada, out of which 25 are in Quebec and one in Ontario.

In response to a growing number of cases, Federal health officials reportedly are strategically positioning vaccine doses for monkeypox across the country.

The virus which can cause rash, fatigue, muscle aches, fever, and headache is often spread by close contact with an infected person as well as through the air or on surfaces.

The virus is being monitored closely by the Federal health officials to facilitate the deployment of vaccines quickly in response to outbreaks, although Njoo said that while the risk of infection for the general population is low,

Njoo told the press conference that, at the moment, Canada is not looking to launch a vaccine campaign targeted at monkeypox but has decided to take a targeted approach to vaccination and treatment.

Quebec’s Public Health Director Dr. Luc Boileau said reportedly earlier Thursday that the province would start offering the vaccine to high-risk individuals.

In a news release Thursday, the Quebec government said the province received the doses on Tuesday.

“High-risk contacts of a confirmed or probable case of monkeypox, as defined by public health authorities, may be vaccinated with a single dose of IMVAMUNE vaccine within four days of exposure,” the release reads.

“The second dose may be administered only if the risk of exposure is still present 28 days later. The doses offered will be administered only following a decision by public health authorities.”

The National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg said Njoo is currently completing sequencing on monkeypox samples to help understand how the virus is spreading.

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