Health Department Launches Monkeypox Vaccine Clinic for People Who May Have Been Exposed to Monkeypox

The Department is offering vaccination to eligible New Yorkers who may have been exposed to monkeypox, beginning today at a new vaccine site located at the Chelsea Sexual Health Clinic

Those eligible can make an appointment at nyc.gov/health/monkeypox

June 23, 2022 — The Health Department today announced the opening of a temporary clinic to administer the two-dose JYNNEOSTM vaccine to eligible people who may have had a recent exposure to monkeypox. Getting vaccinated shortly after an exposure reduces the risk of developing monkeypox and can reduce symptoms for those who do get it. The vaccine clinic will be located at the Chelsea Sexual Health Clinic (303 Ninth Avenue in Manhattan). The clinic will open today, and will be open on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. moving forward.

Anyone can get and spread monkeypox, but most cases in the current outbreak are among gay, bisexual or other men who have sex with men. The Health Department in collaboration with NYC Health + Hospitals are already offering vaccine to people identified as close contacts to someone suspected or confirmed with monkeypox. The new vaccine clinic expands eligibility to all gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (cisgender or transgender) ages 18 and older who have had multiple or anonymous sex partners in the last 14 days. The Health Department has issued guidance for eligible adults considering vaccination so that they can better understand their personal level of risk. Men who have sex or other intimate contact with men they met through dating apps or social media platforms, or at clubs, raves, sex parties, saunas, or other large gatherings may be at higher risk of having been recently exposed. Appointments are recommended but limited walk-ins will be accepted. Make an appointment at nyc.gov/health/monkeypox.

"As I have said since day one, we are prepared, not panicked and this monkeypox vaccination site is one more critical tool to keep New Yorkers healthy," said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. "Starting today, eligible New Yorkers who may have been exposed to monkeypox can now get vaccinated to stay safe and slow the spread."

"Members of the LGBTQ+ community have always been fierce advocates for their rights, including, and especially, when it comes to receiving timely access to health care," said Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. "Vaccination against monkeypox is a critical tool to allow New Yorkers to protect themselves and to help slow the spread of monkeypox in our city."

"We applaud the NYC Department of Health for leading this effort to reduce the risk of transmission, particularly among the communities that Callen-Lorde serves," said Peter Meacher, Chief Medical Officer at Callen-Lorde Community Health Center. "While this is an important step, it’s equally critical to remember that identity is not a risk factor, and we must all be vigilant not to stigmatize communities that may be disproportionately impacted. During Pride month in New York, it is especially important to acknowledge the long history and impact of stigmatization, and not to repeat the mistakes of our past."

"TAG welcomes DOHMH's announcement that it will open a temporary monkeypox vaccination clinic at the Chelsea Sexual Health Clinic in Manhattan, aimed at vaccinating men who have sex with men (cis- or transgender) who have had anonymous or multipartner sex over the past two weeks," said Mark Harrington, Executive Director for Treatment Action Group. "We cannot afford to delay and deny access to effective tools to prevent and treat an outbreak such as MPX when there are scientifically proven vaccines, treatments, and test protocols which, when used together and equitably, can bring this outbreak under control everywhere."

"As Vice President of Infectious Disease and LGBTQ+ Programs at Community Healthcare Network (CHN), I stand in strong support of vaccination against monkeypox for eligible individuals," said Dr. Freddy Molano. "As a network of primary care centers that have always proudly served LGBTQ+ populations in New York City, CHN believes in sexual health and safety for all. CHN encourages those eligible for the vaccine to protect their own wellbeing, and their partners’, by being vaccinated against monkeypox."

About monkeypox:

The monkeypox virus is most often spread through direct contact with a rash or sores of someone who has the virus. It can also spread through contact with clothing, bedding, and other items used by a person with monkeypox, or from respiratory droplets that can be passed in prolonged close contact. Transmission can occur during sex or other close physical contact.

Symptoms:

Symptoms of monkeypox usually start seven to 14 days after exposure but may not appear for up to 21 days. The most common symptom is a rash or sores that can look like pimples or blisters. These may be all over the body or just in certain parts, such as the face, hands, feet, mouth, genitals or anus. Before or at the same time the rash or sores appear, some people have flu-like symptoms, such as fever, swollen lymph nodes, headache, and tiredness. In some cases, monkeypox can cause severe illness. A person is contagious until all sores have healed, and a new layer of skin has formed, which can take two to four weeks.

Prevention and care:

To reduce the chance of getting or spreading monkeypox, do not engage in sex or other close physical contact (such as touching, massage, or kissing) if you or your partners are sick and especially if you or they have a new or unexpected rash or sores anywhere on the body. Avoid gatherings and direct contact with others if you are unwell or have a rash or sores. Wash your hands, sex toys and bedding before and after sex or other intimate activities. As more New Yorkers are diagnosed with monkeypox, it is crucial to seek care as soon as you notice a rash or sores. If you don’t have a health care provider, visit the NYC Health Map or call 311 to be connected to care.

The JYNNEOSTM vaccine has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the prevention of monkeypox in people ages 18 and older. The vaccine requires two doses, four weeks apart.

The Health Department’s Sexual Health Clinics and telemedicine hotline, offer low- to no-cost services for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, for anyone ages 12 or older, regardless of immigration status (parental consent is not required). The Sexual Health Clinic Hotline is available at 347-396-7959, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. For more information on the Sexual Health Clinics and Hotline, including services, locations, and hours of operation, visit NYC Health Clinics.

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MEDIA CONTACT: Patrick Gallahue / Michael Lanza,
PressOffice@health.nyc.gov