25.09.2022

New York City health chiefs are blasted for last-minute and ‘random’ monkeypox jab roll out

New York City health chiefs were blasted for their ‘last minute’ roll out of monkeypox vaccines just two days before the city’s Pride weekend Friday — as scores of walk-ins were turned away on the second day of inoculations.

Yesterday the city became the first in the U.S. to start offering the jab to the most ‘at risk’ gay or bisexual men.

But within three hours of launching the drive it was forced to suspend walk-ins due to ‘high demand’, and all appointments were booked solid until Monday.

At least 100 men queued for the jab this morning, with many not having bookings arriving up to two hours before the clinic opened. But all walk-ins were turned away and told to check online for new slots.

Chris LeBron, a Democrat candidate for the New York State Assembly, slammed the ‘pop-up’ inoculation and slammed the city’s health commissioner Dr Ashwin Vasan for failing to turn up to monitor the vaccinations.

Men waiting to get inoculated today said it was ‘ridiculous’ that only 1,000 doses were available in a city of eight million. Others slammed health officials for giving ‘contradictory’ information on how to get jabbed.

Many of those who got the vaccine today expressed their relief, saying they would now be able to enjoy the Pride weekend safely — which is expected to draw crowds numbering more than two million. One man even left the clinic telling a friend, ‘we can make out tonight!’

New York City is America’s monkeypox hotspot with more than 39 cases detected so far, with almost all among gay and bisexual men. Nationwide the tally has hit 179 cases, with fears mounting the rash-causing virus is spreading undetected.

More than a hundred men lined up outside the Chelsea Sexual Health Clinic in Manhattan today to get a dose of the monkeypox vaccine. The clinic only admitted people who had got appointments, and turned away all others

Two lines had formed this morning outside the clinic. One was for people hoping to get a walk-in jab – who had been there since at least 9am – and the second was for those with appointments. New York City suspended walk-ins yesterday just three hours after the clinic opened due to ‘high demand’

Attendees were first screened at a pop-up clinic (pictured) to ensure they were eligible for the jab. They were then sent inside to one of seven booths where the vaccine was being administered by a nurse. Recipients had to wait about 10 minutes after they were inoculated to ensure they suffered no side-effects. Men who have sex with men, and had multiple sexual partners over the past two weeks are eligible for the jab

Pictured above are men embracing each other while they wait in the queue for the Jynneous vaccine. The jab is designed to fight off smallpox infections, but scientists say it also works against monkeypox because the two viruses are similar

Chris LeBron, the Democrat candidate for the 75th district — which includes the Chelsea area of Manhattan — blasted New York City’s health officials for their last minute and ‘random’ roll out of the vaccines. He said more should be available

Derek Brant, 33, a sales manager (left), said it was ‘ridiculous’ that only 1,000 monkeypox vaccines were available in a city of more than eight million. Yougourten Ayouni, 24, an advertising technology consultant said he had been turned away twice. He slammed New York City’s health officials for inviting people to get the vaccine while having so few doses available

The above map shows the spread of monkeypox across the U.S. The chart on the right shows the tallies in terms of states, with the red figures showing the number of cases recorded over the last 24 hours

Men pictured queuing for the vaccine against monkeypox today in Manhattan, New York City. The jab is being rolled out via appointment between 11am and 7pm

New York City is offering gay or bisexual men who have multiple sexual partners within two weeks the monkeypox vaccine at the Chelsea Sexual Health Clinic in Manhattan.

Today marked the second day the vaccine has been administered in the city, with a line of men in their 20s and 30s forming outside the clinic.

It has the capacity to vaccinate up to 170 people a day at present, with seven nurses jabbing one person every 20 minutes. After getting the jab, recipients are required to wait for a further 10 minutes to ensure they have not suffered any side-effects — like with the Covid jabs.

New York City says it will be open from 11am to 7pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays. It is yet to open up bookings for appointments this Monday.

It is rolling out the Jynneous jab — which is 85 percent effective against infection — which is administered as two doses four weeks apart. Experts say recipients gain immunity from monkeypox days after getting the first jab.

Chicago to put ‘special emphasis’ on warning Pride attendees over monkeypox cases this weekend

Chicago will put a ‘special emphasis’ on warning Pride attendees of the risks of catching monkeypox this weekend, while San Francisco’s parade will be punctuated by regular announcements over the disease amid fears the events could spark an uptick in cases.

The Windy City’s Department of Public Health told DailyMail.com they would put out guidance on social media and print fliers to be handed out at events.

In San Francisco, California, which is also due to host a parade this Sunday, announcements will be made on ‘best practice’ when in crowds.

America is gearing up to celebrate Pride this weekend in major cities — with crowds expected to exceed two million in New York alone.

But it comes amid a growing outbreak of the rash-causing virus with 179 cases detected so far, many among gay and bisexual men.

Several cases are not linked to international travel or other known infections suggesting it is already spreading undetected.

New York City became the first to offer jabs against monkeypox to the most ‘at risk’ men this weekend. But it has been slammed for rolling out so few doses.

Experts say vaccinated people have protection shortly afterwards. Dr Amesh Adalja, an infectious diseases expert at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, said for people exposed to monkeypox it gives protection ‘immediately’ providing it is administered within the first four days of contact with a case.

Blasting the Department today and health commissioner for the city, LeBron told DailyMail.com: ‘Do I think enough is being done? No.

‘The fact that these vaccines just popped up and a random announcement was made is actually detrimental to individuals faith in Government when dealing with a health crisis like this. It does nobody any good.

‘I do believe the Health commissioner of New York City should be here, present, to assess what’s happening right now.

‘There is a line of individuals waiting for canceled appointments, and there is a high need clearly for this vaccine.

‘He needs to come here, he needs to assess, he needs to apply proper policy and planning to ensure that these individuals get the service they deserve.’

People began lining up for the vaccine — even if they didn’t have an appointment — from 9am this morning, in either the appointments or walk-ins lines.

By the time the clinic opened its doors at 11am, more than 100 people were queuing up for the jab and the line stretched around the side of the vaccination center.

Among those turned away was Yougourten Ayouni, 24, an advertising technology consultant who came back today after queuing for two hours yesterday and being sent away.

He told DailyMail.com that staff working the clinic kept ‘contradicting’ each other, with some saying they were not taking walk-ins and others saying they would but only after five or six hours when they see how many appointments were missed.

Slamming the Department, he said: ‘Everybody is not on the same page and they have only a thousand vaccines and there website is already booked up.

‘I don’t understand why even start telling people to just wait and get an appointment etcetera. They are just not being honest, they are not being forward, and everybody is not on the same page.’

Derek Brant, 33, a sales manager and one of the few to get vaccinated today, said it was an ‘incredible’ stroke of luck to get the jab but also ‘ridiculous’ that New York City had so few shots available.

‘It’s kind of ridiculous that there are only 1,000 doses,’ he told DailyMail.com. ‘I feel very lucky to have got one, I’m trying to count my blessings about it.’

He heard about the clinic yesterday via a friend who sent him a link to the vaccination clinic.

Another furious couple leaving the clinic, who asked not to be named, said it was a ‘disgrace’ that these jabs were being handed out just a day before the city’s Pride weekend.

New York City announced yesterday that it was rolling out the monkeypox vaccine to the most at risk men. Pictured above is the queue to get the vaccine that formed today

Pictured above are men queuing to get a dose of the monkeypox vaccine. They will need to return for a second jab in the next four weeks, and are being invited via email

Men began queuing from 9am this morning to get the vaccine. Pictured above are several waiting in the queue

Recipients told DailyMail.com the jab did not hurt to get. Many were given a plaster afterwards (pictured)

A health worker talks to a man waiting in line for the vaccine to protect against monkeypox

Timeline of monkeypox cases in the U.S.

April 2003: A total of 47 people are found to have been infected with the virus after coming into contact with animals.

This was linked to a shipment of 800 rodents — including squirrels —  from Ghana to Texas. Some of the infected animals were then moved to Illinois and housed near Prairie dogs. They passed on the virus to these animals, which then gave it to humans when they were rehomed.

July 2021: An individual in Texas is found to have been infected with monkeypox after returning to the U.S. from Nigeria.

A total of 200 people were monitored for infection, but after 21 days none had developed symptoms.

November 2021: An individual tested positive for the virus after returning to Maryland from Nigeria. They did not pass the virus on to others.

May 2022: A man is found to have been infected with the virus after returning to Massachusetts from Canada. In this outbreak more than 170 cases have been spotted across almost 25 states.

New York City has been sent 1,000 doses of the Jynneous vaccine to date — which is enough to jab just 500 residents.

As well as rolling out doses through the clinic, it has also offered some to close contacts of known monkeypox cases to head off their infection. Other cities are also dishing out the jabs to close contacts.

America has more than 74,000 doses of Jynneous and more than a million shots of ACAM2000 — which is also at least 85 percent effective against infection — in its arsenal, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a briefing on June 10.

DailyMail.com has asked the CDC how many have been offered to each state, and how many have been rolled out to date.

Another 300,000 Jynneous doses are expected to arrive in the U.S. within weeks, along with a further 500,000 before the end of the year.

Both jabs are designed to trigger immunity against smallpox, but scientists say they will also work against monkeypox because the two viruses are very similar.

Gay or bisexual men who got their monkeypox vaccines today emerged from the clinic jubilant and feeling ‘lucky’ to be among the few to get inoculated. One even exited telling a friend: ‘We can make out tonight!’

Marcello Santiago, 35, who owns a pet grooming store, was among those to get the vaccine today. He told DailyMail.com that he now felt protected and safe after getting the shot ahead of Pride.

Caesar, 30, a fashion designer who did not give his last name was also among those to get the shot today. He said it ‘felt great’ to be inoculated and that he was looking forward to having a ‘Prideful weekend’.

Another couple, who asked not to be named, told DailyMail.com they came to get the vaccine because it seemed like the ‘prudent’ thing to do. They said they had been concerned about attending large events in Brooklyn this weekend without being jabbed.

America has now recorded more than 170 cases of monkeypox, with New York City having the most infections out of any major city.

Breaking down the figures by state, California has the most cases (48), followed by New York state (30) and Illinois (19).

Today’s roll out comes ahead of a weekend of Pride celebrations in the city, where the health department plans to hand out fliers at events to warn people over the risks of contracting the disease.

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