News release

Monkeypox Vaccine Now Available in Sydney

Starting today, November 2, people who are at highest risk of being exposed to the monkeypox virus can book an appointment in Sydney for Imvamune, a vaccine that will help protect against infection.

Nova Scotia Health will host two vaccine clinics at the Cape Breton Centre for Sexual Health and offer free first and second doses of the monkeypox vaccine. The first clinic will open Tuesday, November 8, and run until Wednesday, November 16, and the second clinic will open Tuesday, December 6, and run until Wednesday, December 14.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommends that Imvamune be used as a preventive, two-dose vaccine for those at highest risk, with doses separated by at least 28 days.

“As soon as we started offering a monkeypox vaccine clinic in Nova Scotia, we knew how important it was to expand access beyond Halifax to other areas of the province to help protect those at highest risk of infection,” said Dr. Jesse Kancir, medical officer of health responsible for monkeypox. “I’m encouraging everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated with both doses to ensure maximum protection.”

First and second dose appointments are also available at the Halifax Sexual Health Centre until Thursday, November 24.

The pre-exposure vaccination program is only available to people who:

1. Identify as a cisgender or transgender queer man, a two-spirit person or a non-binary person who has sexual contact with a cisgender or transgender queer man, a two-spirit person or a non-binary person and meets at least one of the following criteria:

  • two or more sexual partners since May as defined above, or is planning to
  • a diagnosis of a bacterial sexually transmitted infection since May
  • attended, worked at or volunteered at an event/social venue for sexual contact, such as a bath house or sex club, since May, or is planning to
  • had anonymous sex since May, or is planning to
  • engaged as a worker or a client in sex work since May, or is planning to.


2. Have sexual contact with someone who meets the above criteria.

Only residents of Nova Scotia or people living in the province for prolonged periods, such as post-secondary students or people here for work, who meet the eligibility criteria will be offered the vaccine.

People who meet the eligibility criteria can book an appointment at:

Anyone who needs help booking an appointment or does not have a Nova Scotia health card can call the Sydney Public Health Office at 902-563-2400.

Quick Facts:

  • work is underway to establish clinics in other areas of the province
  • monkeypox spreads through close contact with an infected person, including contact during sexual activity, direct contact with monkeypox sores (including scabs or sores that are healing), inhaling respiratory droplets (from coughs or sneezes) from an infected person, and contact with contaminated items like bedding or clothing
  • monkeypox symptoms usually develop five to 21 days after exposure to the virus
  • monkeypox typically presents initially with fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, headache, muscle pain, joint pain, back pain and exhaustion; symptoms can progress one to two days later and may include a rash or sores that usually start on the face, legs or arms and can affect other parts of the body (including hands, feet, mouth and genitals)

Additional Resources:

Government of Canada monkeypox resource page:

More information about monkeypox, including how it spreads and what symptoms to look for: