Monkeypox virus. Photo courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control.

Monkeypox immunization now available in Red Deer

Province expanded appointments beyond Calgary and Edmonton on Wednesday

Monkeypox vaccination appointments will now be available in the central Zone.

In a press release Wednesday, Alberta Health Services announced that the immunization would be available starting Aug. 10 in all health zones, after previously making it only accessible in Calgary and Edmonton.

“By expanding availability beyond these two cities, AHS is further enhancing the opportunity for more eligible people in Alberta to receive the vaccine,” AHS stated in the release.

AHS said that anyone who is 18 or older and meets the eligibility requirement must call health link at 1-866-301-2668 to review eligibility and book an appointment.

AHS also noted that residents 18 years and older eligible for the monkeypox vaccine include:

  • Transgender, cisgender or two-spirit individuals who self-identify as belonging to the gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (gbMSM) community and who meet at least one of the following criteria:
  • Have received a recent (in the last six months) diagnosis of a sexually transmitted infection.
  • Are planning to have, or in the past 90 days had, sex outside of a mutually monogamous relationship.
  • Have attended venues for sexual contact within the past 90 days (e.g., bath houses, sex clubs) or may be planning to
  • Any sexual contacts of the individuals described above.
  • Staff and volunteers in a social setting or venue or event where sexual activities between men (individuals described above) may take place.

In the release, AHS explained the province has been providing Imvamune to close contacts of a confirmed monkeypox case after exposure since June 7. The province then expanded monkeypox vaccine eligibility to include Albertans who are at higher risk of being exposed to monkeypox and began vaccine administration in Calgary and Edmonton on July 29.