NEW YORK (PIX11) – New York City reopened monkeypox vaccine appointments Wednesday after receiving thousands of additional doses, but the limited appointments were quickly filled up.
New York City received 6,000 additional monkeypox vaccine doses in total. A limited number of vaccine appointments were available through the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene website Wednesday. By the evening there were no appointments remaining. New York City health officials expect more appointments to be available early sometime next week.
Scheduling for the new appointments got off to a rough start Wednesday. A glitch made the appointments available prematurely, and the health department was forced to temporarily shut down the scheduling system for a few hours.
Some New Yorkers were able to make appointments when they opened prematurely. The appointments made prematurely will still be honored, health officials said.
At 6:10 p.m., the New York City health department announced on Twitter that additional appointments were available, but they were all reserved within minutes.
Temporary vaccine clinics will be open at the Central Harlem Sexual Health Clinic (2238 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan) and the Chelsea Sexual Health Clinic (303 Ninth Avenue in Manhattan) on Thursday for those who were able to schedule an appointment. A third clinic at the Corona Sexual Health Clinic is expected to open later this month.
“Thank you to our federal partners for providing the necessary support we need to curb transmission and keep New Yorkers safe,” Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan said in a statement. “The City will continue to work with the federal government to secure additional doses.”
As of Wednesday, 119 people in New York City have tested positive for orthopoxvirus — presumed to be monkeypox. That’s more than double the number from the prior week.
“Anyone can get and spread monkeypox. The current cases are primarily spreading among social networks of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men, so this community is currently at greater risk of exposure,” the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene website states.
Most of the people with monkeypox have experienced mild illness, have not been hospitalized and have recovered, according to the health department.
Monkeypox is a contagious disease that is most often spread through direct contact with a rash or sores of someone who has the virus. It can also spread through contact with clothing, bedding and other items used by a person with monkeypox, or from respiratory droplets that can be passed through prolonged face-to-face contact. Transmission can happen during sex or other intimate activities such as oral, anal or vaginal sex, hugging, kissing or massaging.
The most common symptom of monkeypox is a rash or sores that can look like pimples or blisters. These may be all over the body or just in certain parts. Symptoms usually start seven to 14 days after exposure, but in some cases they may not appear for up to 21 days, according to health experts.