NEW YORK -- More monkeypox vaccine appointments were released on Tuesday afternoon.
It was welcome news for concerned people who think they may have been exposed. But as CBS2's Natalie Duddridge reported, they're still not easy to find.
Waiting in line at Chelsea Sexual Health Clinic, dozens tried to get one of the few walk-up vaccine slots. More slots were released at 1 p.m., but within minutes it appears they were all gone.
"I have friends that have it and we were with them. We just wanted to be preventative," one person said. "They're saying [it is] like chickenpox and feel horrible."
Health experts say if you think you've been exposed, call your doctor and try to get the vaccine as soon as possible.
"Within the first probably four days after exposure is when we think vaccination is most likely to be effective for prevention. We think it can take anywhere up to three weeks after exposure for someone to develop symptoms," said Dr. Andrew Goodman of Callen-Lorde Community Health Center.
Mayor Eric Adams spoke with federal officials Tuesday about access and allocation.
"Commissioner Vasan and I had a call yesterday with HHS Secretary Becerra and CDC Director Walensky about our city's needs to face this Monkeypox outbreak together. We discussed the supply constraints that New York City is facing and the urgency to expand our vaccine access footprint to more people, in more neighborhoods, through more partners and providers. We reaffirmed our shared commitment to address this outbreak in a manner that is equitable and addresses areas of highest need and those most at risk," Adams said in a statement.
Currently, there are 238 cases in New York state, including 223 in the city, which is considered the epicenter of the outbreak.
Doctors say anyone can get monkeypox, but current cases are mainly spreading in the gay and bisexual communities through close contact. Symptoms include a rash and sores that can be painful and last anywhere two to four weeks.
The White House said it is sending more than 14,000 more shots to the city later this week.
For more information on where to find vaccines and when the next batch will be available, please click here. The city Department of Health also launched a text alert system for information about vaccine appointments and more. Please text "monkeypox" to 692-692 to receive those updates.
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