Gay Man From Washington Drove to Canada To Get Monkeypox Vaccine

A gay man from Washington drove to British Columbia, Canada to get a dose of the monkeypox vaccine.

As monkeypox cases continue to rise, the U.S. Department of Health is ramping up vaccination efforts. However, it remains in extremely limited supply, meaning only certain people are being prioritized.

In Washington state, only those who have been in close contact with a confirmed monkeypox case, or those who have contracted the virus, may get the vaccine.

Seattle resident Justin Moore and some friends decided to drive to British Columbia, Canada to get the first dose.

Seattle Monkeypox
In this combination image, Seattle skyline at sunset and an inset of a lab research worker wearing PPE holding test tube labelled Monkeypox iStock / Getty Images

Moore told KING5 that the Seattle & King County health department "was being very slow with the uptake" of the vaccine.

"It became apparent to me that I was going to have to seek out other places to get it," Moore told the news outlet. "It was actually very easy, very seamless."

Moore said on Twitter that clinics in British Columbia "are happily providing vaccines to U.S citizens."

"I can't help as a gay man feel that as a gay man we haven't learned much from other crises where we've been used as targets for these outbreaks," Moore told KING5.

Monkeypox cases continue to be concentrated among the gay community.

Moore has not been the only man to cross the border from Washington in order to get vaccinated.

Grover Cleveland also made the journey, The Seattle Times reported. "When I got there, I said I was from Seattle and that I didn't know if this would work[...]They just said, 'Well, we'll make it work," he told the newspaper.

Another Seattle resident, Adam Feinstein, also took a trip to Vancouver, reporting the process to be very easy.

"A lot of people, including myself, have been waiting around with bated breath. When I heard word that there was an opportunity to go to Canada, for me it was a no-brainer. Why wouldn't I take this opportunity?" he told The Seattle Times.

Vancouver is offering vaccinations to adults who are transgender, "or who self identify as belonging to the gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with other men."

They must also have had "two or more sexual partners with the past 21 days, have received a diagnosis of bacterial STI in the past two months; have attended venues or other locations for sexual contact within the past 21 days (e.g., bath houses, sex clubs, park play) or may be planning to; Have had anonymous/casual sex in the past 21 days (e.g., using apps, online sites, formal/informal gatherings) or may be planning to; Engage in sex work or may be planning to, either as a worker or a client."

King County health department said on its website that it has received 1,420 doses of the vaccine and more are expected later in the summer into the fall.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 190,000 doses of the monkeypox vaccine had been delivered from the Strategic National Stockpile as of July 19.