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New mass monkeypox vaccine sites open in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx on Sundays

Mass monkeypox vaccine sites open in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx
Mass monkeypox vaccine sites open in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx 02:11

NEW YORK -- Upwards of 800 people have tested positive for monkeypox in New York City and the Health Department has opened more temporary vaccine clinics.

But it's still a struggle for many to get an appointment, CBS2's Alecia Reid reported Sunday. 

MONKEYPOX IN NYC: Identifying symptoms, prevention tips, how to get a vaccine and more

"This was the only one I could get," said Anna Simmons, a Flatbush resident.

The New York City Health Department is prioritizing first doses for those at the highest risk of getting the virus. Appointments fill up quickly.

"There would be one appointment in the Bronx or something, and then that one would be gone. There'd be one in Staten Island, that would be gone. I don't know how I got this appointment. I just got lucky," said Ondrea Didier, a Chelsea resident. 

More than 10,000 doses were being distributed Sunday at three sites in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens:

  • Bronx High School of Science
  • Brooklyn's Science Skills Center High School
  • Intermediate School 125

"I didn't care where it was going to be. I know that, obviously this is a serious thing and a lot of people didn't take COVID very seriously, especially people around me. They're like, 'Oh it's not gonna be that bad,' and two years later we're wishing we were more cautious," said Vincent Vega, from Harlem. 

Another 3,800 doses are being reserved for people connected to known cases that the Health Department identified. 

"I am concerned, especially because I know personally a few people who've gotten it and by their accounts it sounds much worse than COVID," said Austin Windels, from Brooklyn. 

Anyone can get and spread monkeypox. But current cases are primarily spreading among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men, according to city health officials. 

"It can happen with anything despite how vigilant I am ... It can happen just with a hug or something," said Conner Keef, from Brooklyn. 

The vaccination clinics will continue for the next two Sundays, but all appointments have already been reserved.

More appointments will be made available once additional doses are allotted by the federal government. Friday, the city opened up 17,000 slots and all were booked within 30 minutes. 

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