Monkeypox

Island Health is launching a targeted vaccination campaign for those currently at highest risk of acquiring and spreading monkeypox. The current vaccine supply is limited and misidentifying oneself as eligible may take away from the people at highest risk.

It is important that only those eligible sign up for an appointment to be vaccinated to prevent transmission and protect the wider population from outbreak. 

We encourage individuals to book an appointment to be vaccinated only if you meet the following eligibility criteria: 

Eligibility:

  • Two-spirit people who self-identify as belonging to the gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men community.
  • Transgender people who self-identify as belonging to the gay, bisexual and other people who have sex with men community.
  • Cisgender males who self-identify as belonging to the gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men community.

As well as at least one of the following:

  • Have had 2 or more sexual partners within the past 21 days.
  • Have received a diagnosis of bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the past 2 months.
  • Have attended venues or other locations for sexual contact within the past 21 days (e.g., bath houses, sex clubs, park play) or may be planning to.
  • Have had anonymous/casual sex in the past 21 days (e.g., using apps, online sites, formal/informal gatherings) or may be planning to.
  • Engage in sex work or may be planning to, either as a worker or a client.

All eligible individuals are encouraged to book an appointment (MSP is not required). 

At this time, the vaccine is not available for the general public unless someone is identified as a close contact by Public Health and 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. For more information on symptoms and steps to take if you are concerned that you may have monkeypox, visit the BC Centre for Disease Control’s monkeypox page

Book an Appointment

Island Health Monkeypox Vaccine Appointment Booking

Vaccination clinics do not accept drop-ins.

If no appointments are available, please try again later. Additional appointment times will be available as vaccine supply is received. 

For information on vaccination clinics in the Vancouver Coastal Health or Fraser Health regions, please visit the “Vaccination” section on the BC Centre for Disease Control’s monkeypox page.

About Monkeypox

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. 

Monkeypox does not generally spread easily between people and the risk to the general public at this time is very low.

While most, but not all, recent global infections are among men who identify as gay, bisexual or other men who have sex with men, the virus can affect anyone through close person-to-person contact regardless of their sexuality. 

Experience of other jurisdictions shows early use of vaccines among groups who are at the highest risk of spread, along with case and contact-tracing efforts, can reduce transmission and prevent severe illness. Globally, the vaccine is in short supply. 

Within Island Health, vaccinations are being provided to high-risk populations. Island Health will continue to monitor local and global trends and adjust eligibility criteria as needed.  

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

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

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. 

Read more

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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