NYC Monkeypox: New vaccination sites, clinic opening

Monkeypox cases continue to rise in New York City, which is now the epicenter of the national outbreak.

However, the soaring demand for shots has overwhelmed the city’s healthcare system.

Three new mass vaccination sites are opening this weekend at Aviation High School in Queens, the Bushwick Education Campus in Brooklyn, and the Bronx High School of Science.

A new clinic is also opening at NYC Health & Hospitals/Gotham Health, Vanderbilt, on Staten Island.

 "We have to respond to monkeypox because it’s here, and we need to protect people and we need to get people information and prevention and treatment," says Mark Harrington, the Executive Director of Treatment Action Group.

The process of scheduling appointments has been frustrating for many New Yorkers.

RELATED: NYC monkeypox cases double again; vaccine website crashes

The City Health Department is now using its own appointment scheduling website after blaming third-party vendors for website crashes.

Some, though, were fortunate enough to evade those issues, including Andrew Vitovitch who got his first dose in Harlem.

"I literally just got referred. They were like, ‘Hey, we got some vaccines… do you want to sign up?" And I was like yeah, sure. They were like, ‘We have an appointment at 6:30.’ I was like, ‘Great, that’s right after work,’ and I just came right up from Brooklyn," he explains.

14,500 doses have been shipped in from the federal government, coming as commercial labs ramp up clinical testing.

The city plans to rollout 8,000 new first dose appointments over the next two weeks and 4,000 more doses will be made available through referrals.

Some are concerned those efforts won’t be enough to stem the outbreak.

"Where we’re worried is that there’s gonna be more demand than even the new supply of 8,200 doses that have recently been released are gonna make, and there’s more people who are gonna need it… and so the federal government is gonna need to expedite the delivery of more vaccine," Harrington adds.