Ontario confident in monkeypox vaccine strategy, Moore says, but some seek expansion


TORONTO - Ontario's top doctor says the province's current monkeypox vaccination strategy is working and cases of the virus appear to be plateauing.

Dr. Kieran Moore says the province has vaccinated more than 20,000 people against monkeypox, with the priority group being gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men that meet certain criteria.

But some say the province's vaccination strategy doesn't do enough to protect those living in homeless shelters, noting a recent case found in a Toronto shelter.

Diana Chan McNally, a community worker at a Toronto centre for people in need, says monkeypox vaccines should be broadly available to those living in shelters given the nature of the settings and the fact that those who live there might share belongings.

Toronto Public Health held pop-up monkeypox vaccine clinics at the shelter where a case was recently reported, which Moore says is part of Ontario's "ring immunization" strategy targeting those who may have been exposed to a known case.

Public Health Ontario reported a total of 449 confirmed cases of monkeypox in the province as of Thursday, with more than 77 per cent of cases reported in Toronto.