With more than 19,000 doses of Imvamune® vaccine administered to British Columbians at highest risk of contracting monkeypox, the Province is now able to offer second doses of vaccine to those who are eligible.
The vaccine being used for prevention of monkeypox is approved as a two dose series by Health Canada. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommends a complete vaccine series of two doses for stronger and longer lasting protection against monkeypox infection.
- People who received a first dose at least 28 days ago can begin booking appointments for a second dose through their health authority this week.
- Those who meet eligibility criteria for the monkeypox vaccine, but haven’t received their first dose yet, are also encouraged to get vaccinated.
- More appointments will be added in the following weeks as health authorities increase capacity to deliver the vaccine. If there are no available appointments at first, please check back.
- 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.
- Find appointments:
- Health Canada maintains a limited stockpile of Imvamune vaccine, intended for smallpox contingencies. This vaccine also provides protection against monkeypox.
- To ensure there is enough vaccine to offer second doses to all who are eligible, a second dose will be offered one of two ways: subcutaneous injection or intradermal injection.
- Intradermal injection requires less of the vaccine (one-fifth dose) and generates a similar immune response. This increases the number of doses for use, in the event the monkeypox vaccination campaign is expanded such as to respond to clusters or outbreaks or currently unaffected groups.
- Other authorities including the US Centers for Disease Control have issued guidelines for use of the vaccine by intradermal injection as a dose sparing strategy.
- Subcutaneous injection into the tissues underneath the skin but above the muscle, usually on the upper outer arm, is familiar to people who have received other vaccines such as measles, mumps and rubella or chickenpox vaccines, or the first dose of Imvamune.
- Intradermal injection delivers vaccines into the layer of skin, usually on the forearm. The vaccine is administered from a very thin needle inserted into the skin, and will result in a raised white area that gradually become flush with the skin. This technique is used for select medications, and for TB skin tests, and has also been used as a dose sparing strategy for rabies vaccine.
- The decision about which method is used will be made by the immunizer based on a number of factors, including which dose you are receiving, your age and other health factors, as well as on supply and immunizer familiarity with intradermal injection.
The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), a part of the Provincial Health Services Authority, provides public health leadership through surveillance, detection, treatment, prevention and consultation services. The Centre provides diagnostic and treatment services for people with diseases of public health importance, and analytical and policy support to all levels of government and health authorities. The BCCDC also provides health promotion and prevention services to reduce the burden of chronic disease, preventable injury and environmental health risks. For more, visit www.bccdc.ca or follow us on Twitter @CDCofBC.
The Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) provides specialized health care services and programs to communities across British Columbia, the territories of many distinct First Nations. We are grateful to all the First Nations who have cared for and nurtured this land for all time, including the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), and səlil̓w̓ətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations on whose unceded and ancestral territory our head office is located. We work in partnership with other B.C. health authorities and the provincial government to deliver province-wide solutions that improve the health of British Columbians. For more information, visit www.phsa.ca or follow us @PHSAofBC.
PHSA media line: 778.867.7472