Toronto residents can now make monkey pox vaccination appointments at Toronto Public Health clinics | News

Toronto residents, who meet provincial criteria for vaccination to prevent monkeypox infection, can now make an appointment for a vaccine at one of three Toronto Public Health (TPH) clinics.

Anyone who believes they may have been exposed to monkeypox is referred to contact Toronto Public Health to determine if they qualify.

While anyone can get monkey pox, during this outbreak TPH reports in many countries, including Canada, that the most affected are gays, bisexuals, and men who have sex with men.

Vaccination appointments for Monkeypox are available through the TPH appointment booking system. Although an appointment is preferred, walk-in appointments are also possible.

The current locations and times of the clinic are:

• Metro Hall, 214 Wellington St. W., 12 noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday; and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m

• Cloverdale Mall, 250 The East Mall, Tuesday through Friday from 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM; and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m

• 1940 Eglinton Ave. E., Tuesday to Friday, 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM; and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m

The disease spreads from person to person through contact with infected lesions, skin blisters, body fluids, or respiratory droplets. It can also be transmitted through contact with materials containing the virus, such as clothing and bedding, and through bites or scratches from infected animals.

Symptoms of Monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, exhaustion, and swollen lymph nodes, followed by the development of a skin rash or blisters over a person’s body.

TPH urges residents with monkeypox symptoms to report them to their doctor as soon as possible. The close contacts of people suspected or confirmed to have monkeypox infection are advised to self-monitor for symptoms for 21 days after their last exposure. If symptoms develop, they should self-isolate, seek care, and get tested.

The Ontario Ministry of Health states that people can lower their risk of monkeypox exposure through physical distancing, regular hand washing and masking. Common household disinfectants can kill the monkeypox virus, states TPH.

TPH reports that its clinics are for transgender men and women, or cisgender individuals who identify themselves as gay, bisexual, and men who have sex with men, and who have at least one of the following:

• A sexually transmitted disease in the past two months, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea or syphilis;

• Two or more sexual partners in the past 21 days or planning to have;

• presence in a bathhouse or sex club in the past 21 days, or possibly planning to do so, or those who work or volunteer in these institutions;

• Anonymous/casual sex in the past 21 days or possibly planning to, including using online dating or hookup apps;

• Are involved in or intend to engage in sex work, and the persons with whom they have sexual contact.

In Toronto, 396 laboratory-confirmed cases of monkeypox have been reported, with nine possible cases currently under investigation, as of Aug. 15.

Public Health Ontario reported that 99.4 percent of confirmed cases are male; 0.6 percent are women. Skin rash, oral/genital lesions, swollen lymph nodes, headache, fever, chills, muscle aches and pain and fatigue are the most commonly reported symptoms.

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