July 14, 2022 — Growing demand for the monkeypox vaccine in New York City has crashed the city’s appointment system.
Monkeypox-related supplies ran out as soon as they arrived, according to at the Associated Press. City health officials acknowledged frustration with the limited supply and vowed to build “stable appointment infrastructure” as vaccine supplies increase “in the coming weeks.”
“Due to overwhelming traffic, as soon as appointments went live this afternoon, the site sent error messages to many people who were unable to book appointments. “said Ashwin Vasan, MD, commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. in a report tuesday.
“This is just further proof that the demand is very high, and we will continue to work to make the vaccine available,” he said. “We will let New Yorkers know when more appointments can be made.”
As of July 13, 336 people in New York had tested positive for orthopoxvirus, and all of the cases are likely monkeypox, the department said. in an update. There are probably more cases that have gone undiagnosed.
Most people with monkeypox were not hospitalized and recovered on their own, the department said. Many patients had fever, body aches, chills and fatigue, and those with more severe illness could have a rash and lesions that spread throughout their body. The rash and sores can be painful and last 2-4 weeks.
Anyone can catch and spread monkeypox, the department said, although current cases are spreading primarily among social networks of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men. People with multiple or anonymous sex partners face a high likelihood of exposure.
The vaccine supply remains low, the ministry said, as it receives a limited number of doses from the federal government. New York City has administered nearly 7,000 vaccinations so far, the AP reported, and health officials are expecting 14,500 doses this week.
“There are no appointments currently available,” the department said. “We expect more appointments to be available later this week as we receive more supply.”
The United States has reported more than 1,000 cases of monkeypox amid the growing global epidemic, according to the latest CDC datawith the highest numbers reported in California, Illinois and New York.
More than 80 cases have been reported in Washington, DC. To avoid appointment issues, the city is allowing residents to pre-register for vaccines, the AP reported. Up to 3,000 slot machines were due to open on Thursday.
In June, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that five commercial labs would soon begin offering monkeypox tests to meet demand. On Monday, Mayo Clinic labs began testing for orthopoxvirus and monkeypox, according to to a CDC announcement.
The Mayo Clinic expects to be able to perform up to 10,000 tests per week. Labcorp, which began testing last week, also plans to do up to 10,000 tests per week.