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Foreigners flock to Canada to vaccinate against monkeypox – Canada News – Report by AFR

With the monkeypox vaccine in short supply in the United States, thousands of foreigners, including Americans, flock to Montreal to be vaccinated.

The capital of the province of Quebec, about 70 kilometers north of the US border, has decided to make the vaccine available to anyone who considers themselves at risk.

Denver, Colorado-based art director Robb Stilson took the opportunity during a visit to Montreal last week.

“It’s very difficult to get vaccinated in the States,” Stilson said as he queued with his husband and two daughters to get a shot at a pop-up vaccination center. “I have friends who waited 8 or 9 hours to get in.”

With contact tracing difficult, authorities in Montreal have decided to offer the vaccine to anyone at risk in a bid to stem the spread of the virus.

“As tourists, they can participate in activities that could expose them, and so in a way we’re fighting the pandemic by getting them vaccinated here so they don’t transmit the infection here or when they return home.” Donald Vinh, Specialist for Infectious Diseases at McGill University Health Center, told AFP.

Since the vaccination campaign began in mid-May, when the first cases of monkeypox were detected, Montreal has vaccinated 18,500 people, 13 percent of them foreigners.

The goal is to give 25,000 doses and vaccinate about 75-80 percent of the population classified as at risk, particularly men who have sex with men or with multiple partners.

“I hope the strategy employed by the Montreal public health agency will be a beacon for other public health agencies to use as a vaccination strategy,” Vinh added.

In the western province of British Columbia, health officials last week decided they would no longer offer the vaccine to foreigners, citing limited supplies and the fact that it’s becoming increasingly available in the United States.

Given the lack of available doses, American health officials on Tuesday approved a new injection method that will allow five times as many people to be vaccinated with the same amount of the drug.

As of August 11, Canada has recorded 1,059 confirmed cases of monkeypox, but authorities are seeing signs that infections are slowly slowing.

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