New York City is among the first places in the nation to offer monkeypox vaccinations to the public
Gay and bisexual men in New York City who are at “high risk” of getting monkey pox are being offered a vaccine to protect themselves against the infection.
Nearly 30 cases of the rash-causing virus, usually seen only in Africa, have been discovered in The Big Apple so far. Nearly all have been among men who have sex with men.
In an effort to contain the rising number of cases, the New York City Health Department opened a clinic on Thursday to roll out the two-dose Jynneous vaccine — which is 85 percent effective against infection — to help control the outbreak. .
It is offered to men aged 18 and over who have had multiple or anonymous sex partners in the past 14 days.
More than 100 people lined up for the jab today at Chelsea Sexual Health Clinic, Manhattan, which opened at 11 a.m. Within three hours, the city was forced to suspend walk-in appointments because of the demand.
The clinic has already booked its appointments until Monday, with health officials saying they hope to release more places “soon”. Manhattan’s president Mark Levine says the city has only received 1,000 doses so far.
It comes two days before the city’s Pride celebrations, which are expected to draw a crowd of more than two million people.
New York City health officials have not announced any further guidelines for the weekend, while areas that also hold Pride celebrations, including Chicago and San Francisco, say they will be handing out flyers and making “public service announcements” about the disease.
Vaccines are offered at the Chelsea Sexual Health Clinic (pictured). As many as 100 people reportedly lined up outside for the jab today, prompting the city to suspend plans for walk-in appointments three hours later.
The map above shows states that have detected cases of monkey pox, and the count by state. The red numbers show the change in cases in the last 24 hours
Monkeypox vaccinations are administered between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday at the clinic, officials say.
They did not disclose how they determine whether patients have sex with men or have had multiple sexual partners, although this is likely done through a questionnaire.
With the Jynneous vaccine – which uses a weakened virus – patients receive two injections 28 days apart.
US steps up monkey pox testing to speed up diagnosis
The Biden administration has begun sending monkey pox tests to commercial labs in an effort to speed up the diagnosis of suspected infections.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) send swabs to labs including Aegis Science, Labcorp, Mayo Clinic Laboratories, Quest Diagnostics and Sonic Healthcare.
It said this would greatly increase the country’s capacity to test for monkeypox.
Previously, testing was largely limited to public health labs, which together have a capacity of about 8,000 tests per week.
“All Americans should be concerned about monkey pox cases,” Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement.
“Fortunately, we now have the resources to fight and treat cases in America.
“By drastically expanding the number of test locations across the country, we are making it possible for everyone who needs to be tested.”
It’s designed to fight smallpox, but health officials say it could also work against monkeypox because the two viruses are similar.
After running out of slots today, the ministry said: “We hope to make more appointments available soon.
“We are in talks with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to get more doses and explore how to increase our capacity citywide.”
New York is one of the first cities in America to start rolling out monkeypox vaccines on a larger scale.
The city — along with others, including San Francisco — had already offered the shots to close contacts of confirmed cases of monkey pox.
Announcing the rollout today, Mayor Eric Adams said, “As I’ve been saying from day one, we’re prepared, not panicked, and this monkeypox vaccination site is another critical tool in keeping New Yorkers healthy.
“Starting today, eligible New Yorkers who may have been exposed to monkeypox can now get vaccinated to stay safe and slow the spread.”
America has now reported a total of 156 cases of the virus in nearly half of its states nationwide.
But experts fear that many more cases are currently going undetected because they were mistaken for other diseases or because of difficulties accessing tests.
New York City has the largest outbreak of any metropolitan area in the entire country.
At the state level, California has the largest outbreak with 40 cases, followed by New York state and Illinois with 19.
The Biden administration announced today that it will be rolling out swabs for the disease to commercial labs in an effort to accelerate diagnosis and control measures.
It comes as America gears up for even more Pride celebrations this weekend in major cities.
Chicago health officials have said they will place a “special emphasis” on Pride in their warnings this weekend, and have printed flyers to be handed out at events to protect yourself from monkey pox.
San Francisco has also said it will make “public service announcements” during Pride in the city — expected to draw more than 500,000 people — to remind people to stay safe.
Most people who get monkey pox suffer from a mild infection that clears up within four weeks.
But statistics suggest that about one in 100 people who are infected will develop a serious illness that results in death.
The disease is mainly transmitted through physical contact with infectious skin lesions, or by touching clothing and bedding that have come into contact with a patient.
In rare cases, it can also be transmitted through “sustained” face-to-face contact, the CDC says.
Infected people tend to experience a rash around the genital and anal areas as the first symptom, before the rash spreads to the rest of the body. They may also develop flu-like symptoms.