MPOX* (formerly known as monkeypox) is still circulating in our city and it is usually spread by very close contact with someone who has the virus. Second doses of the vaccine are available for anyone who has already received their first dose. Anyone can get MPOX, but at this time, MPOX has mostly spread between people who had close intimate/sexual contact with a person who has the virus.
On May 11, 2023, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared an end of MPOX as a global health emergency. However, locally we are still seeing MPOX activity and can expect a surge in cases in the summer with upcoming celebrations or festivals.
*MPOX virus is also known as MPXV which is the virus that causes MPOX.
MPOX typically spreads from a person with the virus to others through:
The virus enters the body through breaks in the skin or through the eyes and mouth.
Someone with MPOX can usually pass on the virus when they develop a skin rash or blisters, but it may also spread when they have early symptoms including fever and headache.
Symptoms usually start within six to 13 days after being exposed to MPOX, but can start anywhere from five to 21 days after exposure. Most people recover from MPOX on their own within two to four weeks.
MPOX is diagnosed by a healthcare provider, based on symptoms and a laboratory test.
If you think you have MPOX, it is important to isolate right away and contact a health care provider. For more information on how to self-isolate, visit the MPOX: Self-Isolation Guidance page.
You can get tested for MPOX at a healthcare provider’s office, local walk-in clinic or sexual health clinics. Call in advance to make sure that MPOX testing is available. Please do not call or go to an emergency department for testing. Only go to the emergency department if you need emergency care.
Toronto Public Health will contact and give guidance to people who test positive for MPOX as well as known close contacts of someone who tests positive.
People who have been in contact with a person who has MPOX may be recommended to get post-exposure vaccination. They should monitor themselves for symptoms, and avoid sexual contact with others, for 21 days. If no symptoms appear you can continue with normal activities. If symptoms develop, you should isolate and contact a healthcare provider.
*The second vaccine dose is a full dose exactly like the first.
A new CDC study showed that:
The study recommends that eligible people should get two doses of the MPOX vaccine for the best protection.
The vaccine may cause some side effects. Most are mild to moderate, and do not last longer than 7 days. Common side effects include:
Individuals who are allergic or hypersensitive to any vaccine ingredient should speak with a healthcare provider before getting the vaccine. Learn more about the list of vaccine ingredients.
Imvamune may contain trace amounts of antibiotics (gentamicin and ciprofloxacin) and egg products. People with known hypersensitivity to these products are still able to safely get the vaccine, but should be monitored for an extra 15 minutes (30 minutes total) after getting vaccinated.
Contact a health care provider or go to the nearest emergency department if you have any of these symptoms after getting the vaccine:
An AEFI is any time you feel unwell more than what you were told to expect after getting a vaccine. If you think you are experiencing an AEFI, contact a health care provider.
Your health care provider will report the AEFI to Toronto Public Health (TPH). TPH will help the health care provider investigate if your illness was caused by the vaccine. TPH reports AEFIs to the Ontario Ministry of Health, Public Health Ontario, and the Public Health Agency of Canada to make sure that vaccines continue to be safe. Companies that make vaccines do not help investigate AEFIs.
Toronto Public Health continues to follow federal and provincial guidance on the administration of Imvamune vaccines to protect at-risk populations against the MPOX virus.
Based on Ontario Ministry of Health guidelines, two vaccine doses, given at least 28 days apart, are available to eligible groups. Two doses of the vaccine provides the best protection.
The vaccine is free and available to all eligible people. No ID or OHIP required. Appointments are available for TPH-fixed site vaccination clinics. If you have questions about your eligibility for vaccination, contact a healthcare provider or Toronto Public Health.
a. Two-Spirit, non-binary, transgender, cisgender, intersex, or gender-queer individuals who self-identify or have sexual partners who self-identify as belonging to the gay, bisexual, pansexual and other men who have sex with men (gbMSM) community AND at least one of the following:
b. Individuals who self-identify as engaging in sex work or are planning to, regardless of self-identified sex or gender.
c. Research laboratory employees working directly with replicating orthopoxviruses.
Household and/or sexual contacts of people who are eligible for Pre-Exposure Vaccination listed above in parts (a) or (b) above AND who are moderately or severely immunocompromised (have a weak immune system) or are pregnant may be at risk for severe illness from a MPOX infection. These individuals may be considered for Pre-Exposure Vaccination, and should contact a healthcare provider or Toronto Public Health for more information.
Contact a healthcare provider or Toronto Public Health to find out if you are eligible for vaccination. The vaccine is free and available to all eligible people. No ID or OHIP required. Appointments are needed for City-run immunization clinics.
Wait to get vaccinated if you have any COVID-19 symptoms and/or you are required to self-isolate.
If you think you have MPOX, isolate right away and contact a health care provider. Do not visit any MPOX vaccination clinics.
The vaccine is not used as a treatment if you already have MPOX. At this time, people who have or have had MPOX are not eligible for the vaccine because they have immunity from the infection.
If you are eligible to get Imvamune as Pre- or Post-Exposure Vaccination and already got a smallpox vaccine (either an older generation replicating (live) smallpox vaccine or Imvamune) in the past, you should still get immunized for MPOX as you may not be protected.
Right now, we don’t have information about getting Imvamune at the same time as other vaccines. It is recommended:
As part of our MPOX outreach to reduce the spread of the virus in our communities, Toronto Public Health is sending text messages to remind residents to get a 1st and 2nd dose of the MPOX vaccine, if eligible.
The text message is from a 393939 number and includes a secure link to book an appointment at a City-run immunization clinic or to learn more about the MPOX virus. You can opt out of the text message by replying “STOP MpoxTO” within 12 hours of receiving the message or contact us by phone or email.
Toronto Public Health will never ask for your banking or personal identification information. If you have any questions, contact 416-338-7600 (press option 7) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you didn’t receive a text message from Toronto Public Health, check to see if you are eligible for the MPOX vaccine.
All City-run clinics are accessible and able to offer accommodation. Visit our City immunization clinics webpage to learn more or if you would like to request an accommodation ahead of attending the clinic.
Toronto Public Health (TPH) and community partners will be hosting the following MPOX vaccination clinics for eligible groups.
People who meet the provincial criteria for vaccination to prevent MPOX infection can book an appointment at any one of our TPH-fixed site vaccination clinics through the TPH Booking System. An OHIP card is not required. The vaccine is free and available to all eligible people.
Day(s) and Hours of Operation: Wednesdays, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Address: 519 Church St., Toronto
No appointment needed. Walk-in available.
Day(s) and Hours of Operation:
Address: 27 Roncesvalles Avenue – Suite 505, Toronto.
To book an appointment please visit the Safer six website for more information.
To view the latest data on MPOX in Toronto, visit Public Health Ontario’s MPOX webpage, updated monthly.
|Prevent the Spread of MPOX Poster
||Download the Prevent the Spread of MPOX Poster|
|Preventing MPOX Spread Checklist
||Download the Preventing MPOX Spread Checklist Poster|
|Reduce the Spread of MPOX When Using Drugs Poster
||Download the Reduce the Spread of MPOX When Using Drugs Poster||Spanish|
|MPOX Self-Screening Poster
||Download the Help Stop the Spread of MPOX Poster|
|MPOX Fact Sheet
||Download the MPOX Fact Sheet|
|MPOX Vaccine Fact Sheet
||Download the MPOX Vaccine Fact Sheet|
|MPOX Stigma & Discrimination
||Download the MPOX Stigma & Discrimination Poster|
|Differences between MPOX, Chickenpox, and Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease
||Download the Differences between MPOX, Chickenpox, and Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease Poster|
|Getting Accessibility Support for the MPOX Vaccine
||Download the Getting Accessibility Support for the MPOX Vaccine Poster|