St. Paul added to expanded Monkeypox vaccine locations

The Monkeypox vaccine is now available to eligible Albertans in nine cities and towns across the province. Last week, St. Paul, Edson, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and Red Deer were on the list.

LAKELAND- The Monkeypox vaccine is now available to eligible Albertans in nine other cities and towns across the province. St. Paul, Edson, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and Red Deer were on the list, as the province expanded vaccine availability.

The additional locations for limited vaccine availability were announced by the Alberta Health Service (AHS) and will allow individuals to get vaccinated closer to home, said Dr. ‘AHS.

“When we consider rolling out the vaccine and choosing a central area for vaccines, we looked at where the population is, how easy it is to access it, but we are also well aware of public health and the North area. that sometimes there are very long distances for these people to travel,” she said.

“You kind of see on the map that they’re strategically located that way.”

Across the province, more than 2,000 people have signed up to receive the Imvamune vaccine, but given that the rollout is relatively new in the province, it will take time to see how uptake increases, Koliaska said.

Vaccine eligibility

Eligible Albertans include groups in the LGBTQ2+ community who are considered to be at higher risk of contracting the Monkeypox virus that has spread globally in recent months, Koliaska said. The reason, she says, is that epidemiologically the community has been affected in greater numbers. Of the 19 cases discovered in Alberta as of August 10, often gay and bisexual men have been affected, although anyone can contract the virus.

“Viruses spread wherever they get the chance…but from an epidemiological science perspective, that’s where we first saw this disease appear,” Koliaska explained.

More information on who is eligible for the vaccine can be found on the Alberta Health Services website.

How the virus spreads

Monkeypox virus, believed to be in the same family as the smallpox virus, is important to know about, Koliaska said. Provincial health officials continue to undertake and learn how to curb the spread of the Monkeypox virus, which has a range of symptoms, she added.

The virus is most often spread through direct contact with a sick person, which can include liquids, skin contact, or through clothing or bedding.

Ultimately, it’s always a good idea to practice sanitizing, social distancing and hand washing, whether it’s Monkeypox or another disease, Koliasla said.

“The measures we’ve used to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 during the pandemic, we’ve seen how incredibly well they’ve worked to prevent the spread of other respiratory or viral illnesses,” she said. said, adding that the precautions helped slow the spread of the flu. , stomach flu and other coughs and colds.

“We have evidence that it works very well,” but that depends on the community again using masking and other preventative measures to help curb the spread, she added.

However, Monkeypox has also been observed to be spread through sexual contact. Therefore, using condoms, tracking your sexual partners and keeping other safe sex procedures in mind are essential, she said.

Symptoms of the virus can appear within five to 21 days and include fever “chills, swollen lymph nodes, headache, muscle pain, joint pain, back pain, exhaustion”, as well as fevers or rashes, according to AHS.

Search for support

Ultimately, knowing how the virus spreads and where to seek help is key to moving forward, Koliaska said.

“It’s relatively new and people may not know it, so definitely check the Alberta Health Services website and call the health link at 811…there are always their health care providers. usual health too.”

For those eligible or at risk, it is important to contact healthcare providers as the vaccine rolls out.

“We really encourage people to reach out, get their questions answered if they think they are at high risk and/or eligible for the Monkeypox vaccine.”

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