Monkeypox is a disease caused by the monkeypox virus. It spreads through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact. Since early May 2022, cases of monkeypox have been reported in many countries where the virus does not normally spread. Cases have been identified in B.C. – including in Island Health – and other parts of Canada. 

Please visit the BC Centre for Disease Control’s monkeypox page for more information, including:

  • How monkeypox spreads 
  • Symptoms
  • What to do if you have been exposed or become ill
  • Vaccination, including eligibility and second doses
  • Travel and monkeypox awareness
  • Recommendations for Two-Spirit, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities (2SGBTQ+). 

Book a vaccination appointment 

  • Those who meet eligibility criteria for the monkeypox vaccine but haven’t yet received their first dose are encouraged to get vaccinated (MSP is not required). Please visit the BC Centre for Disease Control for information on eligibility criteria.
  • People who received a first dose at least 28 days ago can book an appointment for a second dose. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommends a complete vaccine series of two doses for stronger and longer lasting protection against monkeypox infection. More information on second doses is available here. 
  • More appointments will be added in the following weeks. If there are no available appointments at first, please check back. Please note that vaccination clinics do not accept drop-ins.
  • Your protection is not reduced if you receive a second dose more than 28 days after a first dose. You don't need to start the series over if it's been longer than 28 days since your first dose.  
  • People who have had a monkeypox infection do not require vaccine. Prior infection from monkeypox is expected to provide immunity against future infections.

At this time, the vaccine is not available for the general public unless someone is identified as a close contact by Public Health. These individuals will be contacted directly.

The vaccine is also intended for residents of Canada or those living in B.C. for prolonged periods of time. People from outside Canada should not travel to Island Health vaccine clinics for immunization; we cannot provide the vaccine to those visiting the province for the purpose of being vaccinated. Please contact your local Public Health unit for information about receiving monkeypox vaccine.

Individuals experiencing symptoms of monkeypox should not attend a clinic to receive the monkeypox vaccine, and should instead seek medical attention. 

News & Events

First monkeypox case confirmed in Island Health, risk to the general public is very low

First monkeypox case confirmed in Island Health, risk to the general public is very low

One case of monkeypox has been confirmed in Island Health through laboratory testing at the BC Centre for Disease Control. The person resides in the south island. Island Health public health teams are conducting follow-up. The risk to the general public is very low. 

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Pediatric team with patient

Life Changing Treatment for Rare Disease – Closer to Home

When six year old Charleigh came to Victoria General Hospital for her 80th enzyme infusion on June 9 – the care team that surrounded her were all wearing teal to show support on Batten Disease Awareness Day.

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Public health teams help families catch up on kids’ routine vaccinations

Island Health’s public health teams are helping families ensure that their children are up-to-date with important childhood immunizations, like measles and tetanus.

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