PSA: Mpox vaccine clinics in Amherst, New Glasgow, Truro, and Sydney

Starting today, December 5, people who are at highest risk of being exposed to the monkeypox (mpox) virus can book an appointment in Amherst, New Glasgow or Truro for Imvamune, a vaccine that will help protect against infection.

Nova Scotia Health will host three vaccine clinics at Public Health Offices in Northern Zone, in Amherst, New Glasgow and Truro. These clinics will offer free first and second doses of the mpox vaccine.

- Clinic in Amherst will take place on December 9th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Public Health Office (18 South Albion St., Amherst)
- Clinic in Truro will take place on December 14th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Public Health Office (600 Abenaki Rd., Level 1/Wind B, Truro)
- Clinic in New Glasgow will take place on December 16th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Public Health Office (Community Health Centre, 690 East River Rd., New Glasgow)

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommends that Imvamune be used as a preventive, two-dose vaccine for those at highest risk, with doses separated by at least 28 days.

“As soon as we started offering an mpox vaccine clinic in Nova Scotia, we knew how important it was to expand access beyond Halifax to other areas of the province to help protect those at highest risk of infection,” said Dr. Jesse Kancir, medical officer of health responsible for mpox. “I’m encouraging everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated with both doses to ensure maximum protection.”

First and second dose appointments are also available at the Cape Breton Centre for Sexual Health until Wednesday, December 14.

The pre-exposure vaccination program is only available to people who:

1. Identify as a cisgender or transgender queer man, a two-spirit person or a non-binary person who has sexual contact with a cisgender or transgender queer man, a two-spirit person or a non-binary person and meets at least one of the following criteria:

• two or more sexual partners since May as defined above, or is planning to
• a diagnosis of a bacterial sexually transmitted infection since May
• attended, worked at or volunteered at an event/social venue for sexual contact, such as a bath house or sex club, since May, or is planning to
• had anonymous sex since May, or is planning to
• engaged as a worker or a client in sex work since May or is planning to.

Or

2. Have sexual contact with someone who meets the above criteria.

Only residents of Nova Scotia or people living in the province for prolonged periods, such as post-secondary students or people here for work, who meet the eligibility criteria will be offered the vaccine.

People who meet the eligibility criteria can book an appointment at: https://novascotia.flow.canimmunize.ca/en/monkeypox-booking

Anyone who needs help booking an appointment at a clinic in Amherst, New Glasgow or Truro or does not have a Nova Scotia health card can call the Truro Public Health Office at 902-893-5820.

Quick Facts:

• work is underway to establish clinics in other areas of the province
• mpox spreads through close contact with an infected person, including contact during sexual activity, direct contact with mpox sores (including scabs or sores that are healing), inhaling respiratory droplets (from coughs or sneezes) from an infected person, and contact with contaminated items like bedding or clothing
• mpox symptoms usually develop five to 21 days after exposure to the virus
• mpox typically presents initially with fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, headache, muscle pain, joint pain, back pain and exhaustion; symptoms can progress one to two days later and may include a rash or sores that usually start on the face, legs or arms and can affect other parts of the body (including hands, feet, mouth and genitals)

Additional Resources:

Government of Canada mpox resource page: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/monkeypox.html

More information about mpox, including how it spreads and what symptoms to look for: https://novascotia.ca/monkeypox