BUSHWICK, Brooklyn (PIX11) — It was at least an hour long wait for people with appointments at one of three monkeypox pop-up vaccination sites in New York City on Sunday.
The wait came with concern and frustration. There were very long lines in Bushwick at one of three pop-up monkey pox vaccination sites opened Sunday.
“Demand is really high,” Eric Almond, who had just received his monkeypox vaccine in Bushwick, told PIX11 News. “They are taking their time. They should be getting the vaccine to people quickly.
So far, demand has far exceeded supply in the city. When new doses became available Friday night, 9,200 appointments were filled in just seven minutes.
“It’s been pretty much a disaster,” Henry Scott, waiting on line for the monkeypox vaccination in the Bronx, told PIX11 News. “My friends and I are attuned to social media, we were checking the website and it kept saying ‘sorry not available.'”
The city health commissioner gave a tour of the vaccination site at the Bushwick Education Center, Sunday. The two other sites were at the Bronx High School of Science and Aviation High School in Queens. New York City has become the epicenter of the monkeypox outbreak in the US, accounting for close to 30% of all cases.
Monkeypox is primarily impacting the LGBTQ+ community, but medical experts caution that it could spread to anyone.
“This is not a sexually acquired disease,” Dr. Len Horovitz, a pulmonologist at Lenox Hill Hospital, told PIX11 News. “But that said, it requires close contact with somebody. If you are in bed with someone, and don’t have sex, you can get it from the bed clothes, the linens, or just skin contact. It is not sexually acquired, but close contact is required.”
And there is concern from some on these long lines that not everyone who needs the vaccine has access to getting that shot in the arm.
“I’m also concerned for people who don’t have access to computers, the homeless of the LGBTQ community and sex workers who don’t have easy access to the vaccine,” Almond told PIX11 News.
Gov. Kathy Hochul says there are tens of thousands of additional doses on the way, but those on the line were wondering when will they arrive and if they will be earmarked for first shots or the second shot in the two-shot regimen.