Monkeypox Vaccine Rollout Is Marred by Glitches in New York

Paul Chaplin, the chief executive officer of Bavarian Nordic, which makes the vaccine, said Thursday that research shows that one dose offers “robust protection.” Dr. Bassett, however, said that full protection from the vaccine would only come two weeks after the second dose.

New York health officials said people who fall into one of several categories are eligible for the vaccine:

  • Individuals with recent exposure to monkeypox within the past 14 days.

  • Those at high risk of a recent exposure to monkeypox, including members of the gay, bisexual, transgender and other communities of men who have sex with men and who have engaged in intimate or skin-to-skin contact with others in the past 14 days in areas where monkeypox is spreading.

  • Individuals who have had skin-to-skin contact with someone in a social network experiencing monkeypox activity, including men who have sex with men and who meet partners through an online website, digital app or social event, such as a bar or party.

In part because the categories are broad, demand for the vaccine is extremely high. All 2,500 or so appointments went within minutes on Wednesday, health officials said.

Enormous frustration at access to the vaccine spilled over on Wednesday, as people spent hours not knowing if they had missed the rollout or if more doses were coming.

Eugene Resnick, who works as a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, said he spent nine hours refreshing the city’s webpage before being able to finally snag an appointment when a second set were released just before 7 pm

“I’m frustrated, angry, disappointed with the Health Department,” he said. “I’m an insider working in the government. I can’t imagine it’s at all accessible to the regular person not on Twitter.”

Joseph Osmundson, a microbiologist and queer activist helping to increase access to the vaccine, said that the city did the right thing by opening a clinic in Harlem, in addition to the one in Chelsea, to give out the vaccine, but that there had to be a more urgent effort to get more vaccine supply to the city soon.

“At every level, there is such frustration in the community,” Mr. Osmundson said. He said people he knows are trying to be careful but are increasingly angry at what they feel is a lack of urgency to protect the gay community in particular: “We feel like we’re being left behind and then blamed for the spread.”

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