New York state will receive an additional 110,000 doses of the federal government’s monkeypox vaccine, officials announced Thursday.
They are part of a batch of 800,000 doses that the federal government plans to distribute. About 10%, or 80,000 of those doses, will go to New York; 30,000 will go to the New York State Department of Health.
By the end of July, more than 1,100 people in New York had tested positive for the monkeypox virus – almost all of them adult men.
Here’s what you need to know to get vaccinated for monkeypox in New York City.
How do you catch monkey pox?
In the current outbreak, monkeypox has been spread primarily through close physical contact with an infected person. In New York, the virus is spreading primarily among men who have sex with men. It causes rashes and pustules to form, and its main mode of transmission is through direct physical contact with wounds.
It can also spread through a patient’s contaminated objects, such as linens and clothing, and via respiratory droplets. Researchers have found the virus in bodily fluids like saliva, urine, and semen, but there’s still debate over whether it’s transmitted sexually or simply through skin-to-skin contact.
What to know about the Monkeypox virus
What is monkey pox? Monkeypox is a virus similar to smallpox, but the symptoms are less severe. It was discovered in 1958, after outbreaks occurred in monkeys kept for research. The virus has mainly been found in parts of West and Central Africa, but in recent weeks it has spread to dozens of countries and infected tens of thousands of people, overwhelmingly men with sex with men. On July 23, the World Health Organization declared monkeypox a global health emergency.
Who is eligible for a vaccine in New York?
Adult men who have sex with men and have had multiple sexual partners in the past 14 days are eligible for a vaccine in New York. Close contacts of infected people are also eligible.
Within the group of eligible people, the Ministry of Health particularly encourages people who have partners with symptoms of monkeypox to get vaccinated. The department is also encouraging eligible people who have met their partners through social media platforms such as Grindr or at large gatherings to get vaccinated.
Eligible people who have a disease that weakens the immune system, such as HIV, or who have a history of dermatitis or eczema are also strongly encouraged to get vaccinated.
People who have had monkeypox are not eligible for vaccination.
How can I get vaccinated in New York?
The Ministry of Health has a website where people can make an appointment. All appointments were filled by the end of July, but people are encouraged to check the website for openings resulting from cancellations.
The Department of Health said it would directly notify people who are in close contact with infected people how to make an appointment.
How many doses are available?
The state expects 110,000 additional doses. It was unclear on Thursday when they would arrive.
In mid-July, Governor Kathy Hochul announced that the state and city had already received more than 28,000 doses and another 32,785 doses were on their way from the federal government.
“We will continue to work closely with the Biden administration to ensure that New York receives its fair share of monkeypox vaccines,” Governor Hochul said.
What kinds of problems have there been with the rollout of the vaccine?
New York City began its rollout of the vaccine in late June. The city did not publicly announce the availability of the preferred monkeypox vaccine until 30 minutes before appointments were available. News of his availability spread on social media and by word of mouth.
Hundreds of people, mostly white men, lined up outside Chelsea’s sexual health clinic to get vaccinated. Some of these men were turned away and encouraged to book appointments online because there were not enough vaccines. People have also encountered issues on the appointment booking website.