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New York City officials hold monkeypox town hall, lament lack of vaccine doses

NYC health officials hold monkeypox town hall in the Bronx
NYC health officials hold monkeypox town hall in the Bronx 01:59

NEW YORK -- The city's Department of Health held a town hall meeting on monkeypox in the Bronx on Monday night. Concerned residents said more outreach is needed.

Another concern is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a change in guidance after a dog contracted the disease from its owners, CBS2's Alice Gainer reported.

Right now in New York City, there are about 2,400 confirmed cases of monkeypox, including 310 in the Bronx.

"We don't have the doses for the people who need them and I don't think that's a secret," Dr. Madhuray Ray said.

READ MOREMonkeypox vaccine access expanding in New York City and New Jersey

On Saturday, Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine tweeted there were 6,000 vaccine appointments posted and gone in an hour.

In addition to the supply issues, Grace Detrevarah, with Osborne Association, said, "I'm more concerned about the outreach."

Osborne provides services to those affected by the criminal justice system. Detrevarah is a re-entry and health educator, LGBT liaison, and works with sex workers and the homeless.

"What I'm seeing is an elevation of wait, of wait and see and that is dangerous," Detrevarah said.

READ MORENew York City Council's LGBTQ caucus introduces legislation calling for increased monkeypox vaccine availability

Sage Rivera with Destination Tomorrow, an LGBTQ+ center, said Monday's town hall was a good step.

"More collective information sessions like this so that way the same information is getting out to the community as a whole and people aren't confused," Rivera said.

READ MOREFDA issues emergency use authorization for new monkeypox vaccine protocol

Confusing some, the CDC updated its monkeypox guidance to include dogs and animals that can catch the virus. This after a dog in France was suspected of contracting the disease from its owners.

"Don't touch your mammal pets, but if you do, you know, wear a mask, be careful. Make sure all your lesions are very well covered," Ray said.

Monkeypox is spread through close contact with lesions or bodily fluids, and though health officials say right now the virus is emerging in communities of men who have sex with men, everyone should take this seriously.

"Emerging diseases have to emerge somewhere, right? And one thing that we know about infectious diseases is that they don't stay there," Ray said.

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