News Release
February 1, 2023

Toronto Public Health (TPH) is reminding eligible residents at risk of contracting MPOX (formerly known as monkeypox) to complete a two-dose vaccination series of Imvamune® as soon as possible. The reminder comes as TPH is investigating reports of four new cases of MPOX in a 24-hour period on Friday, January 27, and during a busy winter travel season.

Eligible individuals who have not been vaccinated against MPOX are encouraged to get their first dose of vaccine at any City of Toronto-run immunization clinic as soon as possible. Those who have received a first dose already can get a second dose 28 days after their first dose. At-risk residents who are travelling in the near future are also encouraged to get vaccinated before leaving. The vaccine becomes most effective after two weeks. There is no cost to receive the vaccine and an OHIP card is not required. Walk-ins are available, based on capacity. Appointments can be booked online at

Anyone can get MPOX, but during the current outbreak, gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men have been most affected.

Working with the Gay Men’s Sexual Health Alliance (GMSH) and other community partners, TPH will hold a drop-in MPOX vaccination clinic for individuals 18 years of age and older at The 519, 519 Church St., on Monday, February 27, from 1 to 6 p.m. There is no cost to receive the vaccine and an OHIP card is not required at this community clinic. No appointments are needed and vaccinations will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

About MPOX

MPOX is a rare viral illness that spreads from person to person through contact with infected lesions, skin blisters, body fluids or respiratory secretions. It can also be transmitted by contact with materials contaminated with the virus (e.g. clothing, bedding) and through bites or scratches from infected animals. At this time, MPOX has spread mostly between people who have had close/intimate or sexual contact with a person who has the virus. The virus does not spread through casual contact.

MPOX symptoms can start five to 21 days after exposure and include fever, headache, muscle aches, exhaustion and swollen lymph nodes, followed by a rash or blisters on the skin. Most people recover from MPOX on their own without treatment.

Vaccination can protect against the MPOX virus and can help reduce serious symptoms. Individuals who received a smallpox vaccination in the past are not protected against MPOX and should get the Imvamune® vaccine as soon as possible for the best protection.

TPH asks residents with MPOX symptoms to self-isolate immediately and contact a healthcare provider. People who have been in contact with a person who has MPOX should self-monitor for symptoms and avoid sexual contact for 21 days. If symptoms develop, they should self-isolate, seek care and get tested. Health care providers are reminded that suspected or confirmed cases of MPOX must be reported to TPH. As with many other diseases spread through close contact, people can lower their risk by reducing the number of close contacts, cleaning their hands frequently and wearing a mask when possible. Common household disinfectants can kill the MPOX virus on surfaces.

More information is available at

“Vaccination remains the best way to protect against severe outcomes from MPOX. As the virus continues to circulate, it is important for at-risk groups to complete a two-dose vaccination series as soon as they are able. We continue to work together with community partners who enable greater access to at-risk groups.”
– Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health

“After a period of no reported MPOX cases in Ontario, four new cases in a single day is concerning. Last summer, our community mobilized, got a first vaccine dose, and slowed the spread of MPOX. Let’s finish what we started and get the second vaccine dose, especially before travelling this winter.”
– Dane Griffiths, Director, Gay Men’s Sexual Health Alliance

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Media Relations
Toronto Public Health