Monkeypox vaccine rollout begins on Long Island

It was a shot followed by a sigh of relief for some on Fire Island who got the monkeypox vaccine on Friday.

Gary Sacks was among Suffolk County’s first to receive his at this pop-up clinic in Cherry Grove.

"I think you have to step up as a community person," he said.

Appointments for the monkeypox vaccine in Suffolk County were booked within minutes.

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"It’s extremely important to encourage those who are at high risk to be vaccinated," said Dr. Annabella Salvador, deputy chief medical officer with Northwell Health. 

Additional pop-up sites across Long Island are expected to open this week to help combat the spread of the virus that officials say is striking predominantly gay men with multiple partners.

"I think there’s a sense of hope and optimism we’ll get more," said Henry Robin, president of the Fire Island Pines Property Owners Association. "We clearly need them."

This pop-up will continue through Sunday and once the county receives more doses additional dates may be scheduled. People who receive their first vaccine make a second appt for 28 days after - they’ll have full immunity in two weeks.

While there are four reported cases in Suffolk County and three in Nassau, Julian Dorcelien still didn’t think twice before getting vaccinated. He remembers the aids pandemic and is still reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I think it’s my civic duty to make sure I’m protected," he said.