New York City unveiled three mass vaccination centers for monkeypox Fridays with each able to dish out 1,400 doses a day — but appointments at each site ran out within an hour, signaling the high demand for the jabs.
The vaccine centers are based in Brooklyn, Bronx and the Queens and began rolling out doses this Sunday. They will also offer them over the next two Sundays.
The Big Apple is running the largest inoculation drive for gay or bisexual men in the country, with only Washington DC also aiming to jab the group.
Those who got at the Brooklyn center yesterday said they had just ‘got lucky’, adding they knew many others waiting for doses.
There is mounting concern that monkeypox could spill over into other groups — including children, older adults and pregnant women — which are more vulnerable to the disease. It does not require sex to be transmitted, and can be spread through physical contact such as touching others or a hug.
Cases in America are starting to emerge as well, reaching 2,891 over the weekend as officials fear case counts are only picking up a fraction of the true number of Americans that have been infected so far.
NYC has opened three mass vaccination centers in Brooklyn, Bronx and Queens with each able to dish out about 1,400 doses a day. City health commissioner Dr Ashwin Vasan is pictured at the mass vaccination center in Brooklyn
Each center can give out between 75 and 85 doses at once, a spokesman for the New York Department of Health said
Pictured above are the vaccination tables in the vaccination center, set up in an old spots hall
Appointments ran out within an hour of going live on Friday, several publications reported. There are growing calls for New York to secure more doses
This Friday the city’s Department of Health announced it was opening up appointments for another 17,000 doses of the vaccine.
The appointments opened at 6 pm, but an hour-and-a-half later health officials tweeted they had all been booked. Several papers reported they were full in an hour.
Ondrea Didier, a resident in Chelsea, was one individual who ‘got lucky’ after securing a dose at the mass vaccination center in Flatbush.
They told CBS New York: ‘There would be one appointment in the Bronx or something, and then that would be gone. There’d be one in Staten Island, that would be gone.
‘I don’t know how I got this appointment. I just got lucky.’
Vincent Vega, a Harlem resident who also secured a dose at the center, said: ‘I didn’t care where it was going to be.
‘I know that, obviously this is a serious thing and a lot of people didn’t take Covid very seriously, especially people around me.
‘They’re like, “oh, it’s not gonna be that bad”, and two years later we’re wishing we were more cautious.’
The mass vaccination sites are able to deliver between 75 and 85 doses at once, a spokesman for the health department told DailyMail.com.
They are an echo of the Covid vaccination drive, when mass centers were doing out thousands of doses a day in an attempt to protect everyone against the virus.
Announcing the opening of the centers on Friday, NYC’s health commissioner Dr Ashwin Vasan said: ‘The Health Department is moving quickly to distribute as many vaccine doses as we can in the most equitable way possible.
‘With cases rising, it’s clear that there is a great need for more vaccine in New York City, and we are working with our federal partners to obtain more doses.’
Pictured above are men lining up to get a dose of the monkeypox vaccine in Brooklyn yesterday
Men wait in line to receive a dose of the monkeypox vaccine in Brooklyn
New York received another 26,000 doses last week, with another 9,000 held back to offer to people who are close contacts of known cases.
Its roll out has been repeatedly slammed for failing to offer enough doses, and problems with its vaccination booking system.
Last month the Health Department told residents to not try to book doses until late in the afternoon when slots would become available.
But a ‘technical glitch’ saw some residents given early access to the slots, meaning they were almost fully booked before they went online.
Concerns have also been raised by the city’s decision to delay second doses, in order to provide primary inoculations.
Officials at the Food and Drug Administration have warned against the move, saying it has not yet been properly tested.
It comes amid mounting concern that the virus will spill over into other groups that are more vulnerable.
On Friday it was revealed that two children had tested positive for monkeypox.
Although health officials said both were ‘doing well’, medics say children under eight years old are generally more at risk from the virus.
US records first two CHILD monkeypox cases: California toddler and an infant in DC were likely infected by ‘household contacts’ and both had contact with gay or bisexual men, CDC chief says
By: Luke Andrews Health Reporter for DailyMail.com
Two children have tested positive for monkeypox in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed Friday.
One is a toddler from California; the other is in an infant who is not a US resident and was ‘transiting through’ Washington DC Neither had contact with each other.
Health officials said both children were ‘doing well’, but warned children under the age of eight are at high risk of severe monkeypox.
It is thought both children likely caught the virus from ‘household contacts’.
Dr Rochelle Walensky said the children both had contact with gay or bisexual men — the community where most cases are being detected in the current outbreak.
It was not clear when they caught the virus, or what symptoms they suffered.
They are receiving the antiviral TPOXX, which can help stop an infection in its tracks by interfering with the virus’s maturation.
They are the first cases among children to be detected in America. There are currently more than 2,500 cases of monkeypox in the US — the second biggest outbreak in the world behind only Spain with 3,000.
Timeline of monkeypox in the United States
1958: Monkeypox is discovered when an outbreak of pox-like disease occurred in monkeys kept for research.
1970: First human case of the disease is recorded in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It was later detected in a number of other central and western African countries.
2003: America’s former largest monkeypox outbreak occurs. A total of 47 people are infected after having contact with pet prairie dogs that picked up the disease at a farm.
May, 2021: Monkeypox case detected in the US in a citizen who had recently returned from Nigeria.
November, 2021: Monkeypox is detected in another US resident who recently returned from Nigeria.
May, 2022: A man in Massachusetts is diagnosed with monkeypox, becoming the first case in the current outbreak. There are now more than 2,000 cases nationwide.
A boy under 10 years old tested positive for the virus in the Netherlands in June, as was revealed this week. The Dutch child suffered more than 20 red lesions on his face, forearms and thighs but had no fever or swollen lymph nodes — with the infection mostly clearing within a week.
Revealing the infections at a virtual event for the Washington Post, Walensky said: ‘We have now seen two cases that have occurred in children.
‘Both of these are traced back to individuals who come from the men-who-have-sex-with-men community, the gay men’s community.’
She added that these cases have been on the whole ‘adjacent to the community most at risk’.
In a press release, the agency said: ‘CDC and public health authorities are still investigating how the children became infected.
‘While both children have monkeypox symptoms, they are in good health.’
They added: ‘Monkeypox spreads through close skin-to-skin contact, which — in the case of children — could include hugging, cuddling, feeding, as well as through shared items such as towels, bedding, cups and utensils.’
Last week the CDC said it was only aware of monkeypox infections among adults, mostly in gay or bisexual men.
Until now monkeypox infections have been almost exclusively among gay or bisexual men.
But a top expert warned last week the virus had likely already spread to other groups, but that this was yet to be detected due to a lack of testing.
The World Health Organization warns that children — as well as older people and pregnant women — are more at risk from monkeypox.
Scientific studies suggest that between three and ten percent of children infected with monkeypox die from the disease, depending on the strain they catch.
In the Dutch case, doctors said they counted 20 lesions on the face, ear, forearms, thighs and back of the child — but that he did not suffer a fever or swollen lymph nodes.
Within a week the virus in his body had dropped to non-detectable levels, they added.
It was not clear how he became infected, although doctors said he likely had contact with an infected person or contaminated object that ‘was not recognized’.
Monkeypox primarily spreads through close physical contact or towels or bedsheets that have also been used by a patient. In rare cases, it can also be transmitted through the air.
The CDC has been repeatedly slammed for its response to the virus, with testing initially being slow to get off the ground masking the spread of the virus.
There have also been problems rolling out the vaccine, with New York City — at the epicenter of the crisis — having to delay second doses for patients because too few jabs have been supplied.