As the number of confirmed monkeypox cases continues to rise in Canada, infectious disease and public health experts are providing vaccinations to those at risk of infection.
Since monkeypox and smallpox are both part of the orthopox family of viruses, experts say some vaccines will work against both.
But the vaccines being recommended for use against monkeypox today are different from those used in the last century’s global effort to eradicate smallpox, the World Health Organization (WHO) says.
“Some countries have maintained strategic supplies of older smallpox vaccines from the Smallpox Eradication Programme (SEP) which concluded in 1980,” said the WHO’s interim monkeypox vaccination guidance issued on Tuesday.
“These first-generation vaccines held in national reserves are not recommended for monkeypox at this time, as they do not meet current safety and manufacturing standards.”
Monkeypox causes flu-like symptoms and skin lesions, and spreads through close contact.
Both WHO and Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) have now released guidelines on what vaccine to use against monkeypox, and who might benefit from it.
What monkeypox vaccine is available in Canada?
The vaccine approved for immunization against monkeypox in Canada is MVA-BN, or Modified Vaccinia Ankara – Bavarian Nordic. Bavarian Nordic, headquartered in Denmark, is the company that manufactures it.
In Canada, the vaccine has the trade name Imvamune. (It’s called Imvanex in the European Union and Jynneos in the U.S.)
Imvamune was originally authorized in Canada for “extraordinary use” against smallpox in November 2013, as part of the federal government’s emergency plan to immunize people if the deadly disease were ever to resurface. In 2020, Canada expanded the vaccine’s authorization to include immunization against monkeypox, NACI documents say.
Routine smallpox vaccinations stopped in Canada in the early 1970s. But because the viruses are related, those smallpox vaccinations may have provided some degree of immunity against monkeypox as well, experts say.
“It’s likely that this, you know, mass immunization campaign for smallpox really kept monkeypox in check for many years,” said Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious diseases specialist at Toronto General Hospital.
But most people under 50 in Canada didn’t get that protection — and that might be one of the reasons we’re seeing monkeypox now, he said.
How is Imvamune different from the old-school smallpox vaccine?
Imvamune contains a weakened strain of the vaccinia virus, which provokes the immune response to fight off smallpox and monkeypox.
Unlike the original smallpox vaccine, this weakened virus is non-replicating, meaning it can’t make copies of itself.
Early-generation vaccines based on replicating vaccinia strains led to unpleasant side effects for some and could be problematic for people who were immunocompromised, said Dr. Zain Chagla, an infectious disease specialist at McMaster University in Hamilton.
In addition, older generations of smallpox vaccine are administered differently. Instead of a regular syringe, the health-care provider uses a “bifurcated needle” with two prongs and pricks the skin repeatedly to get the dose in.
Who should consider vaccination against monkeypox?
Infectious disease specialists say, right now, monkeypox is not affecting the majority of the general Canadian population, although anyone can get the virus if they’re in close physical contact with someone who is infected.
The LGBTQ community, particularly men who have sex with men, are at disproportionate risk of infection in this outbreak, they say. Health-care workers or lab workers who work directly with orthopoxviruses could also be at risk.
As a result, experts say monkeypox vaccinations should be offered to those at-risk populations as a preventative measure. The vaccine can also be offered to those who have already been exposed to someone with monkeypox — known as post-exposure prophylaxis.
In both cases, monkeypox immunization outreach needs to be targeted, they say.
“This is not a widespread vaccine for everyone; it is risk-based vaccination,” Chagla said.
“I don’t think we’re anywhere near starting, you know, vaccine campaigns for the general public,” he said.
“At this point in time, this should be a very focused and targeted vaccine campaign for people who have been exposed and for people who are at the highest risk of getting this infection.”
How many doses?
Both the WHO and NACI recommend two doses of Imvamune, given 28 days apart.
A possible exception, according to NACI’s guidance, is someone who has had a smallpox vaccination in the past. In that case, they could be given just one dose to act as a booster.
Are there any potential allergens in the vaccine?
Yes. NACI says Imvamune includes the following ingredients:
Traces of residual host (egg) cell DNA and protein.
Tromethamine (Trometamol, Tris).
Gentamicin and ciprofloxacin.
Toronto Public Health hosting pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinics throughout Canada Day weekend – Toronto.com
Toronto Public Health continues to host summer pop-up vaccination clinics across the city in partnership with Toronto’s Canada Day festivals and special events. This is part of Team Toronto’s continued efforts to bring COVID-19 vaccination opportunities to places residents live, work and play.
“As people gather to celebrate Canada Day across the city, Team Toronto will be out helping residents get vaccinated against COVID-19 and keep their vaccinations up to date,” said Mayor John Tory. “We have made such progress thanks to our world-leading vaccination efforts, and that’s why we’re continuing to work throughout this holiday and into the summer to help deliver vaccine doses.”
TPH will host the following vaccination clinics in early July:
• High Park Canada Day Festival at High Park, 1873 Bloor St. W., Friday, July 1, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• East York Canada Day Festival at Stan Wadlow Park. 373 Cedarvale Ave., Friday, July 1, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• Canada Day event at Mel Lastman Square, 5100 Yonge St. Friday, July 1, 2 to 7 p.m.
• CIMA Mayor’s Cricket Trophy event at Sunnybrook Park, 1132 Leslie St. Saturday, July 2, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• Lakeshore Ribfest at 1 Colonel Samuel Smith Park Dr. Saturday July 2 and Sunday, July 3, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
• Afrofest at Woodbine Park, 1695 Queen St. E. Saturday, July 9 and Sunday, July 10, 1 to 7:30 p.m.
• Dragon Boat Challenge (GWN Sport Regatta) at Marilyn Bell Park, 1095 Lakeshore Blvd. W. Saturday July 9, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
These family-friendly and youth-friendly clinics will provide first, second, third, fourth and children’s COVID-19 doses to eligible residents age five and up on a walk-in basis, with no appointment or health card required. Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will be offered by TPH nurses, who will also answer COVID-19 and vaccine-related questions.
Residents can continue to get vaccinated at city-run immunization clinics, primary care offices and more than 525 pharmacies. A full list of clinic locations and hours is available on the City’s COVID-19: Where to Get Vaccinated webpage.
As of Monday, July 4, the city-run immunization clinic at Metro Hall will operate Monday to Friday noon to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Residents can find a pharmacy offering COVID-19 vaccination by using the Government of Ontario’s COVID-19 pharmacy vaccine locations webpage.
All eligible residents are encouraged to get their third and fourth dose as soon as possible. As with vaccines for other diseases, people are protected best when they stay up to date. COVID-19 vaccines have been scientifically proven to lower the risk of illness, hospitalization and death while protecting oneself, loved ones and the community, and residents with three doses had the lowest rates of hospitalization, ICU and death over any other level of vaccination.
Style File: Smart sunscreens – Montreal Gazette
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Sunscreen is always a good idea.
Skin cancers are the most common forms of cancer in Canada, according to Statistics Canada. And severe sunburns are noted as “an important risk factor for melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers,” according to the agency.
With this in mind, it’s important to slather, smooth, spray — or whatever your chosen format of sun protection may be — this summer.
Here are four smart sunscreen options to consider adding to your daily sun-protection plan:
From the French brand La Roche-Posay, this “ultralight” sunscreen formula features a universal tint to match most skin tones. See you later, face makeup. The Anthelios Mineral Tinted Ultra Fluid boasts a sun protection factor (that’s the SPF) of 50, thanks to 100 per cent mineral filters. Suitable for sensitive skin, the broad-spectrum sunscreen — it blocks both UVA and UVB rays, is sweat resistant and water resistant for up to 40 minutes.
$35.95 | Shoppers Drug Mart, Laroche-posay.ca
This advanced sunscreen formula from Shiseido acts as a moisturizer, sunscreen and face primer all-in-one formula. The Urban Environment Oil-Free Sunscreen has an SPF of 42 and features skin-loving ingredients such as spirulina and hyaluronic acid to hydrate and smooth skin while broad-spectrum UV filters protect against ultraviolet rays.
$45 | Sephora, Shiseido.com
Perfect for those who struggle with acne, this Clear as Day SPF 46 from the brand Starface is vegan and cruelty-free, while also being oil-free and non-comedogenic. The fragrance-free formula features a unique gel texture and is completely clear so there’s no fear of a white cast on skin. Water resistant for up to 80 minutes, so you can spend a little extra time splish-splashing about.
$32 | Starfaceworld.ca
Sun protection doesn’t stop at the face, neck and décolletage. Introduce head-to-toe coverage to your summer routine with the Garnier Ombrelle Sensitive Expert Body Lotion SPF 60. The hypoallergenic sunscreen formula features broad-spectrum coverage, is fragrance-free, dermatologist-tested, non-comedogenic and water resistant for up to 80 minutes. Plus, the lotion formula is easy to apply, and absorbs quickly.
$24.99 | London Drugs, Londondrugs.com
Mysterious staggering disease in cats down to previously unknown virus – New Scientist
A previously unknown rustrela virus might be the cause of a staggering disease that affects cats in some parts of Europe
1 July 2022
The cause of a brain disease in cats that makes them develop symptoms such as staggering is a previously unknown virus, a study suggests. The pathogen is a rustrela virus and is probably carried by wood mice.
The findings show that rustrela viruses are more diverse and widespread than previously thought, according to Kaspar Matiasek at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and his colleagues. They write that the viruses might cause neurological diseases in other mammals …
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