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Thousands of foreigners including Americans are flocking to Canada's Montreal to get their monkeypox vaccine shots due to short supply in the United States, according to news agency AFP. The capital of Quebec province in the U.S. has decided to provide the monkeypox vaccine shots to those who consider themselves to be at risk.

Robb Stilson, an art director from Denver, Colorado, who lined up to get a shot at a vaccination center with her husband and two daughters said, "My friends waited for about 8 hours to get in. Its very difficult to get vaccinated in the United States."

In Montreal, the authorities decided to offer the vaccine shots to those who are at risk and wants to stem the spread of the virus.

Donald Vinh, infectious disease specialist at the McGill University Health Center, told AFP, "We are combatting the pandemic by letting them (tourists) vaccinated here, so that they do not caught with the monkeypox infection either here or way back to home."

Since the beginning of vaccination campaign in mid-May, Montreal has provided monkeypox vaccine shots to 18,500 people, including 13% foreigners. According to AFP, the goal of Montreal is to administer 25,000 doses and vaccinate around 80% of the population at risk, particularly to men who have sex with men or with multiple partners.

"I hope the vaccination strategy used by the public health agency of Montreal is a beacon for other health departments to use as a vaccination strategy against monkeypox virus," Vihn stated.

The health authorities in the western province of British Columbia, last week decided that they will not offer the vaccine to foreigners citing limited supplies. Due to this, American health authorities on Tuesday authorized new injection procedure which will make it possible to administer five times the number of people with the same amount of medicine.

Canada has registered 1,059 confirmed monkeypox cases as of August 11 this year. Last month, World Health Organisation (WHO) declared monkeypox to be a global health emergency. Now the infection count is close to 28,000 in over 85 countries, and the outbreak shows no sign of slowing down.

(With AFP inputs)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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