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Monkeypox vaccine appointments available in St. Paul

Eligible people in St. Paul can now get their monkeypox vaccine. Alberta Health Services says appointments are available for Albertans aged 18 and older who self-identify as meeting the criteria for targeted prevention of infection.

Those criteria include transgender, cisgender, or two-spirit individuals who self-identify as belonging to the gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men community. They must also have received a recent diagnosis of a sexually transmitted infection in the past six months, be planning to have, or in the past 90 days had, sex outside of a mutually monogamous relationship, or have attended venues for sexual contact within the past 90 days or may be planning to.

Also eligible are their sexual contacts, as well as staff and volunteers where sexual activities between men may take place. Anyone who is eligible and interested in receiving the monkeypox vaccine must call Health Link at 1-866-301-2668.

Imvamune is the monkeypox and smallpox vaccine authorized in Canada for adults who are determined to be at high risk for exposure to the virus. According to AHS, monkeypox is a rare pox-like disease that can be acquired by humans with 19 confirmed isolated cases in Alberta at this time.

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The risk of infection to the public is considered low. Those at greatest risk are those who have had sexual contact with a new partner in the last month and who have a rash in the genital/perianal area, especially if they have a travel history outside the province in the month before illness onset.

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