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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Health Dept. Opens Appointments for Monkeypox Vaccine

The Health Department will release over 8,000 additional first dose appointments over the next two weeks, and 4,000 additional doses will be made available through referrals from community partner organization serving the highest-risk patients. Appointments will be made available on the City’s vaccine portal: vax4nyc.nyc.gov/monkeypox on Friday, July 15 at 6pm

By A Correspondent

(Photo by Lauren Bishop, CDC. This image is in the public domain and thus free of any copyright restrictions.)

The Health Department has announced plans for the next allocation of the JYNNEOS™ vaccine. Approximately 14,500 doses arrived this week from the federal government, and beginning this weekend, the Department will administer these doses at mass vaccination sites and clinics in all five boroughs.

“We are approaching monkeypox in New York City with the urgency it deserves, and we strive to center equity in all of the Department’s work, ensuring that we meet people where they are,” a statement issued by the department quoted Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan as saying. “We will continue to work to meet the needs of New Yorkers at high risk of monkeypox transmission and severe disease. We expect this release of appointments will go quickly given the demand we have seen and are working with our federal partners to acquire more doses as quickly as possible. My sincere thanks goes out to all of the advocates, community and health care partners who are working to keep New Yorkers safe and healthy.”

In addition to the existing monkeypox vaccine clinics located at the Department’s Chelsea, Central Harlem, and Corona Sexual Health Clinic sites, a new clinic will open at:

  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Vanderbilt site (165 Vanderbilt Avenue on Staten Island).

This Sunday, three mass vaccinations sites will open for appointments at:

  • Aviation High School (45-30 36th Street in Queens),
  • Bushwick Education (440 Irving Avenue in Brooklyn) and,
  • Bronx High School of Science (75 W 205th Street in the Bronx).

These three mass vaccination sites will be open for appointments only on Sunday, July 17.

Beginning 6 pm today, Friday, July 15, 8,200 first dose appointments are being made to the eligible public through the city’s vaccine portal, vax4nyc.nyc.gov/monkeypox. Appointments will be scheduled out over the next two weeks. 4,000 additional doses will be made available through referrals from community partner organizations serving the highest-risk patients. Appointments at this time are for first doses only, and the Health Department will reach out to those with their first dose when it is time to make their second dose appointment.

The remaining doses are being reserved for contacts of known cases identified through Health Department contact tracing and potentially for second doses, depending on supply and pending CDC guidance. However, the City hopes and has asked the federal government to be allowed to continue prioritizing first doses while supply is limited. In addition to these 4 clinic sites and the 3 mass vaccination sites, the Department will work with local health care providers who serve the eligible community to plan to provide limited doses of the vaccine in their facilities in the coming weeks.

“New Yorkers can now also sign up for text notifications to receive alerts about monkeypox in NYC, including appointment releases, by texting MONKEYPOX to 692692 or MONKEYPOXESP for alerts in Spanish. Message and data rates may apply.

The monkeypox outbreak is growing in New York City, and the risk of exposure through sex and other close physical contact is increasing. Anyone can get and spread monkeypox.

The statement said due to the limited supply of the JYNNEOS™ vaccine nationally, eligibility during this phase is restricted to those at highest risk of a recent exposure based on national and local cases. Currently, this is gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men and transgender, gender non-conforming, or gender non-binary persons ages 18 and older who have had multiple or anonymous sex partners in the last 14 days. More appointments will go online when more vaccine is allotted to New York City by the federal government.

About monkeypox:

The monkeypox virus is most often spread through direct contact with the 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 in prolonged close contact. Transmission can occur during sex or another close physical contact. It is not yet known if monkeypox can spread through saliva, semen or vaginal fluids.

Symptoms:

The most common symptom is a rash or sores that can look like pimples or blisters. These may be all over the body or just in certain parts, such as the face, hands, or feet, or around or inside the mouth, genitals or anus. The rash and sores can be quite itchy and painful and cause scarring and other complications. Before or at the same time the rash or sores appear, some people have flu-like symptoms, such as fever, swollen lymph nodes, headache, and tiredness. In some cases, monkeypox can cause severe illness. A person is contagious until all sores have healed, and a new layer of skin has formed, which can take two to four weeks.

Prevention and care:

To reduce the chance of getting or spreading monkeypox, do not engage in sex or other close physical contact (such as touching, massage, or kissing) if you or your partners are sick and especially if you or they have a new or unexpected rash or sores anywhere on the body. Avoid gatherings and direct contact with others if you are unwell or have a rash or sores. Wash your hands, sex toys and bedding before and after sex or other intimate activities. As more New Yorkers are diagnosed with monkeypox, it is crucial to seek care as soon as you notice a rash or sores. If you don’t have a health care provider, visit the NYC Health Map or call 311 to be connected to care. People who receive the vaccine should continue to take these precautions to prevent the transmission of monkeypox.

The JYNNEOS™ vaccine has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the prevention of monkeypox in people ages 18 and older.  The vaccine is given as two doses, at least four weeks apart.

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