Dr. Luc Boileau, Quebec’s public health director, said on Thursday that the vaccine will be offered to those most vulnerable to catching monkeypox, including people who have been in contact with confirmed cases. While the smallpox vaccine hasn’t been regularly offered in Canada for some time, experts say that the vax offers a good chance at preventing infection if taken within four days of exposure.
The smallpox vaccine will be given out to eligible residents as soon as Friday.
While 14 monkeypox cases have been tied to Montreal, all 25 cases in Quebec have been linked to the city’s surrounding area. There are also another 20-30 cases that are currently under investigation.
For anyone worried this could blow up into another COVID-like scenario—don’t get too worked up. Bolieau says that while monkeypox is a serious disease, it’s not ripping through the population the same way that COVID-19 has, and that he isn’t expecting a huge number of cases. Also unlike COVID, the virus needs close and prolonged contact to spread, so it’s less likely to be caught.
Bolieau has also said the government is “not in a community alert situation” regarding monkeypox according to CBC. Looks like we (hopefully) won’t be stuck at home again any time soon!