Vaccination against monkeypox has started

A first monkeypox vaccination center has opened in Montreal, where the epidemic is on the rise. More than 500 people have already received a dose of the vaccine, while there are 71 officially reported cases in Quebec.

Posted at 5:00 am

Vincent Marcellin

Vincent Marcellin
The press

The vaccination center Berri/Centre-Sud has been administering vaccine doses against monkeypox since Friday. Admission is without an appointment, daily from 8:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., using a procedure similar to that used for vaccination against COVID-19. Since May 30, 516 people have received a vaccine dose against monkeypox, reports the CIUSS du Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal. Most of those affected are gay men residing in Montreal.

Locally, vaccine candidates remain cautious as the epidemic surges. Many have come to prevention, particularly under the leadership of the community organization RÉZO, which works with gay or bisexual men and men who have sex with men (MSM).

This is the case of Ludvic Moquin-Beaudry, who was questioned when leaving the vaccination center: “I saw RÉZO’s Facebook post and said to myself that it was important to come. I don’t know anyone who has caught the disease, but I think we need to encourage as many people as possible to get vaccinated. »


Photo ROBERT SKINNER, THE PRESS

Ludvic Moquin Beaudry

However, cases of illness in the environment of the people surveyed are not uncommon. “I have a French friend who just caught him,” testifies Martin Guay, who says he hasn’t seen the sick person lately. It sure is a little alarming after the pandemic we just experienced. »

200 injections per day

Before the administration of the vaccine dose, patients undergo a questionnaire aimed at assessing the degree of their exposure to the disease. According to Lise Maurice, a nurse at CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, “These are mainly people who have been in contact with other people who have contracted the disease. The only people we turned away were because they weren’t sexually active so the risk was very low.”

Monkeypox can be transmitted through sexual intercourse, but also through close physical contact with an infected person, their clothing, or their bedding.

In the vaccination room, patients wait quietly for their turn. The Berri/Centre-Sud Vaccination Center performs around 200 injections a day. Given the growing demand, some patients have had to come back multiple times to receive a dose. The majority of patients are men under the age of 50 who have never been vaccinated against smallpox. Caregivers also have priority when it comes to vaccination.

The vaccinated initially refuse to give in to the panic. “I’m not too worried because I know you can’t die from it,” testified Robert Girard after receiving his injection. It’s a bit alarming, but I imagine it will eventually be brought under control. »

While the disease resolves on its own within two to four weeks in most cases, life-threatening complications can occur in about 1% of cases, particularly affecting people with compromised immune systems.

The number of monkeypox cases in Quebec has tripled in less than a week, making the province one of the hardest-hit areas by the epidemic. Last Friday, Canada’s health authority considered the epidemic situation in Quebec “worrying”.

Fever, night sweats, headache, swollen glands and muscle pain are the main warning signs of the disease. People with these symptoms are advised to seek immediate medical attention, wear a mask, and cover the lesions.

Learn more

  • 71
    Number of monkeypox cases reported in Quebec as of June 2, 2022

    Source: Government of Quebec

    780
    Number of reported cases of monkeypox as of June 5, 2022 in 27 countries where the disease is not endemic

    Source: World Health Organization

  • 1000
    Number of vaccine doses already delivered in Quebec

    Source: Public Health Agency of Canada


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