NEW YORK (PIX11) — Health officials outlined their plan to combat monkeypox Thursday morning at a press conference in Harlem, one of two sites in Manhattan temporarily administering the vaccine.
The city and state health commissioners were joined by Dr. Raj Panjabi, the coordinator of the White House Pandemic Office, at the press conference at around 9:30 a.m. Monkeypox cases in New York City doubled in just one week, leading to some concern about the disease’s spread in the area. As of Wednesday, the city has reported 119 cases.
On Wednesday, the city Health Department reopened appointments after receiving an additional 6,000 doses, but a glitch in the system left many people unable to grab a spot. In the end, the limited appointments filled up quickly.
Doctors said monkeypox starts with a fever and flu-like symptoms. It can also result in a rash or sores.
“Monkeypox, unlike COVID, is really due to close contact and coming close in contact with the lesions with an individual who is infectious, unlike what we’ve seen with COVID, so they are different,” said Dr. Daniel Baker, the executive director at Lenox Hill Hospital.
So far, no deaths or hospitalizations have been reported in New York City. City officials said new vaccine appointments should be available sometime next week.
Panjabi said there are around 4 million monkeypox vaccine doses already secured. He said his office is looking through different options to expand the vaccine supply to prevent any possible outbreaks.