Quebec Standard

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Hundreds of Montrealers aim vaccine protecting against monkeypox


Key takeaways: 

  • Almost 800 have received a dose since 1st patient of the virus was detected in mid-May.
  • Lawrence Clifford-Reddy operated as a massage therapist and said he chose to receive the vaccine his friend in the industry told him about the clinic. 

Emil Briones is sighing after getting their first dose of the smallpox vaccine, now being offered to help save Montrealers against the monkeypox illness. 

They are one of almost 800 Montrealers lined up at the hospital in the core of the Gay Village that’s been offering the vaccine since May 27.

“I’m pleased to have access to this today,” they said Wednesday, standing in line at the hospital just about the corner from Émilie-Gamelin Square.

“I saw [the post about the clinic] on Facebook and, you know, just reading up on reports about the outbreaks occurring, and it is pretty risky.” A count of 90 cases of the virus has been reported in Quebec since the first case was reported in Montreal on May 12. Most of them, 86, have been noted in the Montreal region. 

Also read: Young customers are opting to purchase now and pay later

Almost 800 have received a dose since 1st patient of the virus was detected in mid-May

According to regional and municipal officials, most cases in the region are among adult men who have had sexual connections with men. 

Likened a milder state of smallpox, monkeypox is a rare viral disease that usually starts with symptoms such as fever, headache, backache, and fatigue — similar to signs of COVID-19 or the flu. The most prominent symptom is a rash or lesions on the skin.

The virus doesn’t spread readily between people. It is commonly transmitted through extended close contact via respiratory droplets, direct contact with skin lesions or bodily fluids, or through dirty clothes or bedding.

Lawrence Clifford-Reddy was also getting his first dose of the vaccine on Wednesday and said he’s concerned about the stigma it could cause against Montreal’s gay community.

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