CHELSEA, Manhattan (PIX11) — Friday evening, city health authorities made an additional 9,200 monkeypox vaccination appointments available for booking on a city online portal. It only took seven minutes for those doses to be gone.
The expansion came after weeks of frustration over limited appointments during an outbreak, as well as a glitchy online system that crashed.
The city is holding an additional 4,000 doses for direct referrals from partner organizations that might identify vulnerable community members at risk of contracting monkeypox.
Currently, there are 461 confirmed cases in New York City. Monkeypox is a painful — although rarely fatal — viral infection marked by flu-like symptoms, swelling and unsightly bumps.
Supply of the vaccine and testing have been a constant source of frustration, especially for gay, transgender and bisexual men, who are often the most afflicted.
Shots will be given at the three existing sexual health clinics in Chelsea, Harlem and Corona, in addition to a new clinic site on Staten Island. Plus, this Sunday only shots will go into arms at three mass vaccination sites at schools in Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx.
Specifics on the locations are available here.
On Friday, Mayor Eric Adams defended the city’s monkeypox vaccination campaign and said the online booking system is being fixed. He said the backlog has been in not getting vaccine doses from the federal government.
“Outside the kinks on the website, people are getting shots. They come in, we get them out and we are going to continue to do that,” Adams said.
Meanwhile, federal authorities held a briefing Friday insisting testing capacity has already been boosted and millions of more doses are coming within months.