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NYC to roll out 8,000 new monkeypox first-dose appointments over next 2 weeks

New York City to open mass monkeypox vaccination sites
New York City to open mass monkeypox vaccination sites 01:50

NEW YORK -- After widespread rollout issues, the New York City health department has announced its new strategy for administering the monkeypox vaccine.

More appointments will soon open in more neighborhoods.

Josh Scott finally got his first dose of the monkeypox vaccine in Chelsea on Thursday, but booking his appointment was not easy.

"I feel like the process that should've taken, like, three minutes took me I think almost 40 minutes," he told CBS2's Ali Bauman.

Earlier this week, the city's website for booking appointments crashed just seconds after thousands of vaccine slots were made available.

"Unfortunately, a website or technology solutions to make it easy to make an appointment make it harder for people who maybe aren't as familiar with how technology works," Chelsea resident Jason Tagg said.

READ MOREMany say they are concerned about monkeypox vaccine equity in New York City

Thursday, the health department announced it received more than 14,000 vaccine doses from the federal government.

Over the next two weeks, the city says it will release 8,000 first-dose appointments for the monkeypox vaccine, and 4,000 additional doses will be made available through referrals from community partners serving highest risk patients.

"This is nipping it in the bud before it gets out of control," said Meaza Yilma-Kassaye, a supervisor at the clinic in Chelsea.

She says she's grateful for the additional doses.

"We did run out of the vaccination. The minute we got the vaccination back, we have been administering the vaccination," she said.

Currently, the city has just three monkeypox vaccine clinics -- one in Chelsea, one in Harlem and one in Queens.

"I live in Brooklyn ... so it was the most convenient for me but still not anywhere near where I live or work," Scott said.

On Friday, a fourth clinic will open on Staten Island.

READ MOREMonkeypox vaccine appointments remain very difficult to get in New York City

The city says starting on Sunday, three mass vaccination sites will open for appointments at Aviation High school in Queens, Bushwick Education in Brooklyn, and Bronx High School of Science in the Bronx.

To date, New York City has counted 389 suspected cases of monkeypox.

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