Mpox is a viral disease that spreads through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact. Since early May 2022, cases of mpox 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 Mpox page for more information, including:
- How mpox spreads
- What to do if you have been exposed or become ill
- Vaccination, including eligibility and second doses
- Travel and mpox awareness
- Recommendations for Two-spirit, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities (2SGBTQ+).
The following are eligible for the mpox vaccine:
Two-spirit people, transgender people or cisgender males who also self-identify as belonging to the gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men community, and at least 1 of the following:
- Have had sex with more than one partner
- Have had sex with a partner who has more than one partner
- Have had casual sex (e.g. cruising)
- Engage in sex work either as a worker or a client
Anyone who received a first dose of IMVAMUNE (mpox) vaccine and meets the current mpox vaccine eligibility criteria is encouraged to receive a second dose.
- Eligible individuals 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 of IMVAMUNE vaccine for stronger and longer lasting protection against mpox infection. Find more information on second doses.
- You don't need to start the series over if it's been longer than 28 days since your first dose of vaccine.
- Those who meet the eligibility criteria for the IMVAMUNE vaccine but haven’t yet received their first dose are encouraged to get vaccinated (MSP/CareCard not required).
- People who have had an mpox infection do not require a vaccine. Prior infection from mpox is expected to provide immunity against future infections.
- Individuals experiencing symptoms of mpox should not attend a clinic to receive the mpox vaccine. Use the Smart Sex Resource site to find clinics to get tested.
- If you are eligible for IMVAMUNE vaccine (see above vaccine eligibility), you may be eligible to receive other vaccines at no charge, such as Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and HPV (individuals up to 26 years old). At some clinics, it may be possible to receive these vaccines at your IMVAMUNE vaccine appointment. Appointments for these additional vaccines may also be booked separately through your local health unit, community pharmacy, or some sexual health clinics or physician offices.
- Misidentifying oneself as being eligible for mpox vaccine directs this critical resource away from people most at risk, and limits its utility in preventing onward transmission and protecting the wider population from a bigger outbreak. Only book an appointment if you meet the criteria above.
Book an mpox vaccination appointment
Currently, mpox vaccine appointments can only be booked online for the Victoria Health Unit. For other locations, please contact your local public health unit to inquire about appointments. Please note: health units do not accept drop-ins.
- BCCDC Mpox
- BCCDC SmartSexResource
- Island Health Communicable Disease Prevention & Control