On July 12, New York City launched a website to facilitate appointments for New Yorkers to receive a monkeypox vaccine; however, immediately after the website was live it crashed due to a surge in users seeking the inoculation, health officials said.
According to New York health officials, to date, 267 New Yorkers have tested positive for the disease, a virus similar to smallpox but with milder symptoms. On June 23, 7,000 doses of the Jynneos vaccine were made available in New York City and another batch of 14,500 vaccines are expected to arrive later this week.
On Tuesday afternoon, New York City’s health department tweeted, “We apologize for the frustration caused and are working to build stable appointment infrastructure as we roll out more appointments as vaccine supply increases in the coming weeks.”
“All available monkeypox vaccine appointment slots have been booked. Due to overwhelming traffic, as soon as appointments went online this afternoon, the site delivered error messages for many people who were unable to make appointments,” health officials said in a subsequent tweet.
Washington D.C. Health announced on Tuesday that residents can now pre-register for a monkeypox vaccine online as well.
Pre-registered individuals can expect an email invitation to book an appointment once they become available. It’s expected that by July 14, 3,000 appointments will be made available for eligible residents in the District.
To be considered eligible people seeking a vaccine must meet certain criteria.
They must be over 18 years of age be gay, bisexual or a man who has sex with men and who has had multiple sexual partners or anonymous sexual encounters within the past 14 days.
Transgender women and nonbinary people assigned male at birth who have sex with men are also eligible.
In addition, any sex worker or staff of establishments where sexual activity occurs including bathhouses, saunas and sex clubs are eligible to receive a vaccine.
Vaccine appointments are at no cost and are based on availability. Residents who do not meet the criteria are also encouraged to pre-register should eligibility expand.
D.C. Health tweeted on July 12, “District residents can now pre-register for monkeypox vaccination appointments at PreventMonkeypox.dc.gov. Once appointments are available, individuals who have pre-registered will receive an email to make a appointment. Residents will have 48 hours to claim their appointment.”
Chicago is experiencing a surge in monkeypox infections as well. The first case was detected in the city just over a month ago and since then 105 residents of the city have tested positive for the disease. Health officials say that the cases are spreading primarily among men who have sex with men which has prompted the city to implement targeted vaccinations.
According to Massimo Pacilli, the Chicago Public Health Department’s deputy commissioner of disease control, to date, the city has received 5,409 does of the monkeypox vaccine from the federal government and distribution will be targeted towards individuals at higher risk for the disease due to their sexual activity, Fox News reported.
According to data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there have been 929 cases of the disease detected, spread across dozens of states.
The CDC is publishing conflicting data concerning New York state infections saying that as of July 12 there were only 158 cases detected in the city, far lower than the 267 cases New York health officials are reporting.
According to the same data, to date, California has recorded 150 instances of the virus and Illinois has recorded 121 cases of the disease.
Globally, as of June 21, 10,611 cases of the disease have been detected with thousands of cases being reported in Europe.
Recently the White House announced that 1.6 million doses of the Jynneos vaccine will be made available for states by year end.