St. Paul is one of the nine locations across the province where individuals can get vaccinated for monkeypox.
Alberta Health Services has been rolling out vaccinations for the disease since August 10.
Monkeypox is a rare pox-like disease that can be acquired by humans, although the chances of this are extremely low, AHS says.
There has been at least 19 confirmed cases of the illness in Alberta, after a rise in Europe and North America since May.
Monkeypox does not spread easily between people, AHS says, but spread can occur by contact with body fluids, monkeypox sores, or items that have recently been contaminated with fluids or sores, like clothes or sheets. Those who are most at risk are men who have sex with other men, but it is also possible to get sick from sweat droplets after spending a long time close to someone who is infected.
The most common monkeypox symptoms include fever, rash and swollen lymph nodes.
Alberta residents 18 years and older who are now eligible for the monkeypox vaccine include:
- Trans-, cis-gender or two-spirit individuals who self-identify as belonging to the gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (gbMSM) community and who meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Have received a recent (i.e. in the last 6 months) diagnosis of STI
- Are planning to have, or in the past 90 days had, sex outside of a mutually monogamous relationship
- Have attended venues for sexual contact within the past 90 days (e.g. bath houses, sex clubs) or may be planning to, or who work/volunteer in these settings
- Any sexual contacts of the individuals described above.
- Staff and volunteers in a social setting or venue or event where sexual activities between men (individuals described above) may take place.