NYC Receives 6,000 More Doses of Monkeypox Vaccine, Bigger Supply in Weeks – CNET – ApparelGeek

The city’s health department said Wednesday it would be offering thousands of new monkeypox vaccines just hours after it received a new shipment of the coveted vaccine from the federal government.

The New Yorkers too seemed poised to take them on, as they were quick to book appointments that were released ahead of time in minutes on Wednesday due to an online glitch.

“Due to an unfortunate mishap, dates for the monkeypox vaccine were made available early. Rest assured there will be more dates available this afternoon and we will update here and on our website as they become available.” DOHMH tweeted. “We will consider any nominations made earlier today.”

The situation repeated itself on Wednesday night when the agency officially released a limited number of new slots, all of which were quickly snapped up.

The second shipment of monkeypox vaccine – which arrived Tuesday and yielded nearly 6,000 new doses – comes as DOHMH officials battle a surge in new cases amid the latest LGBT pride celebrations, which will wrap up in late June.

The NYC DOH received an additional 6,000 doses of the monkeypox vaccine.
The Washington Post via Getty Images

In addition, officials said they are waiting to give second doses to the roughly 1,000 New Yorkers who have already received their first vaccine, to maximize the number of people who can benefit from the protection offered by the partial vaccination.

The attempt to extend the supply comes as officials conceded they don’t expect a third major shipment from the federal government until mid-July.

“One of the things we know about vaccines is that they don’t serve anyone off the shelf,” said Dr. Jay Varma, who led City Hall’s COVID response under former Mayor Bill de Blasio. “That’s quite an argument for giving people as many first doses as possible.”

On Tuesday, 111 New Yorkers tested positive for the virus, a dramatic increase from the 62 cases reported the previous week and 25 identified the previous week, according to city statistics.

Monkeypox is a disease transmitted primarily through skin contact that can cause fever and flu-like symptoms and is often characterized by painful lesions or rashes.

“Anyone can contract and spread monkeypox,” the Department of Health said in its latest public guidance.

He added: “Current cases are spreading mainly on the social networks of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men, leaving this community at higher risk right now.”

Public health officials have gone to great lengths to suggest that the virus can be transmitted between straight people just as easily as it is between gay men, among whom many of the early outbreaks were concentrated.

Cases of monkeypox spike after Pride month holiday.
Toronto Star via Getty Images

Many of these early cases have been traced to parties, clubs, or other activities aimed at gay men — particularly young men — in Europe, where boating and other intimate contact are common and often encouraged.

Public health officials in New York and across the country have also warned that massive restrictions on testing for the virus are making it difficult to understand just how far it has actually spread.

Currently, the city’s health department’s small but sophisticated public health lab can only perform about 20 tests a day, a limitation that won’t be lifted until larger private labs are up to speed.

Additionally, the only approved test currently requires doctors to swab the rash or lesions to collect a sample, meaning only people with advanced infections can be screened.

The circumstances offer an uncanny parallel to the missteps of the early days of the HIV/AIDS crisis, when testing was limited and public perception mislabeled the disease as a “gay plague,” even though all New Yorkers were susceptible.

And the struggles with monkeypox testing and the introduction of vaccines also reflect the struggles with COVID that has killed more than a million Americans — including about 35,000 in New York City alone.

But there are key differences in knowledge and severity between monkeypox and these deadly plagues.

First, scientists have been studying monkeypox for decades. Second, a vaccine is available that, if given in a timely manner, can prevent infection and limit symptoms in people who are already sick.

Federal authorities have announced they will ramp up production of the JYNNEOS shots, though public health activists say the plan isn’t ambitious enough.

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