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Toronto holding mpox vaccine clinics as cases of the virus spike

Vials of the Imvamune vaccine manufactured by Bavarian Nordic are seen in a promotional image from the firm's website. Vials of the Imvamune vaccine manufactured by Bavarian Nordic are seen in a promotional image from the firm's website.

Toronto Public Health (TPH) is hosting a series of low-barrier mpox vaccination clinics as cases of the virus spike in the city.

The first clinic, for walk-ins only, is set for Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at The 519 community centre located at 519 Church St.

The second one is scheduled for Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Metro Hall, 214 Wellington St. W. An appointment is required for this clinic. Walk-ins will not be accepted.

In addition to these two clinics, residents deemed eligible to get the vaccine can get it by appointment only at the Crossways Sexual Health Clinic at 2340 Dundas St. W. in Etobicoke and Scarborough Sexual Health Clinic at 160 Borough Dr.

People can also inquire about vaccine availability where they currently access sexual healthcare services.

The vaccine, which is free of charge and can be obtained without an Ontario health card or health insurance, is not being given to those who have or have had mpox.

Those eligible to be vaccinated against mpox are being encouraged to get their first dose as soon as possible followed by a second dose at least 28 days later.

The vaccine, which both protects against the mpox virus and helps reduce serious symptoms of it, becomes most effective after two weeks.

Anyone at risk of contracting mpox who is planning to travel soon is especially encouraged to get vaccinated before they leave as cases are being reported in various regions around the world.

Information about upcoming clinic locations, dates, times as well as appointments can be found on the TPH website.

Mpox, formerly known as monkeypox, is a virus that can spread from person-to-person through contact with infected lesions, skin blisters, body fluids, or respiratory secretions. It can also be transmitted by contact with materials contaminated with the virus like clothing or bedding, and through bites or scratches from infected animals.

The virus is primarily spread between people who have had close/intimate or sexual contact with a person infected with mpox. Those most affected include gay and bisexual men as well as men who have sex with other men, Toronto Public Health said.

Symptoms of mpox usually start five to 21 days after exposure to the virus and can include fever, headache, muscle aches, exhaustion, and swollen lymph nodes.

Public health said that these symptoms are followed by a rash, blisters, or lesions on the skin that can be painful, including around the genitals.

Toronto Public Health is urging anyone who believes that they may have mpox to “isolate right away and contact a health care provider.” Top Stories

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