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Second doses of the monkeypox vaccine will be available to British Columbians starting this week.

The Provincial Health Services Authority says those who received their first dose at least 28 days ago are eligible to make appointments for their second, as part of a two-dose series approved by Health Canada.

More than 19,000 doses of Imvamune have been administered to those most at risk of contracting the virus in B.C.

The health authority says eligible people who have not yet received a first dose are encouraged to do so, but those who have had a monkeypox infection do not need a vaccine.

It says more appointments will be added in the coming weeks as capacity for delivering the vaccine grows.

Monkeypox spreads when people have close, physical contact with an infected person’s lesions, their clothing or bedsheets, and symptoms can include rash, swollen lymph nodes and fever.

The Public Health Agency of Canada says a total of 1,400 cases of the virus have been confirmed in Canada, including 162 in British Columbia.

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