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High Demand Complicates Monkeypox Vaccine Rollout in NYC

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Since early May, around 30 people have tested positive for the monkeypox virus in the New York City area, almost all of them men who have sex with men, according to NBC New York. The number of cases has risen 60 percent in just the last week in the city and in total, NYC represents more than 20 percent of all monkeypox cases nationwide.

In response to these numbers and in efforts to prevent a more widespread outbreak, city health officials began offering monkeypox vaccinations to the most at-risk groups on Thursday. However, demand was so high that walk-in appointments had to be cut-off within hours of launching the program, and scheduled visits were already booked through early next week.

The NBC report also states that unlike the COVID-19 epidemic, which we didn’t have any available treatment for in the beginning, there are already multiple vaccines that work against the virus that causes monkepox. The bigger issue is supply.

NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan said that growing anxiety, especially among gay and bisexual men, is what prompted the city’s decision to make vaccines available. 

“We are in talks with the CDC to obtain more doses and are looking into how we can boost our capacity citywide,” the health department stated to the press.

Mark Levine, the Manhattan borough president, tweeted that the city had only been allocated about 1,000 doses of the vaccine from the national stockpile. Others are taking to social media to inform others in the area about vaccine availability and other updates.

For more information about monkeypox, how it’s spread, and who should get vaccinated, visit CDC.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox

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