New York City will offer monkeypox vaccines to vulnerable groups

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NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) - New York health officials will begin offering monkeypox vaccination to vulnerable groups at a temporary clinic in the city, where 28 cases have been identified as of Wednesday (June 22).

New Yorkers who may have been exposed to monkeypox can get the vaccine, city health officials said Thursday.

Eligible groups include "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 said in a statement.

While shots were earlier offered to close contacts of confirmed cases, the department is expanding availability to eligible people who may have been exposed.

Those who have a partner showing symptoms of monkeypox or who have met partners through online apps or social media platforms, such as Grindr, Tinder or Scruff, or at raves and saunas, should especially consider vaccination, the health department said.

The dating app Grindr partnered early on with European health authorities to ensure information about the outbreak was reaching users on its platform.

Though the current outbreak has been concentrated within the LGBTQ community, anyone can be infected through intimate contact or contact with infectious sores.

Monkeypox usually presents as a rash that is sometimes accompanied by other flu-like symptoms or swollen lymph nodes. Symptoms usually resolve on their own within a few weeks without treatment.

The US outbreak has expanded to 156 cases, with no deaths linked to the disease, and there are more than 3,300 cases globally, according to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

"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," NYC Health Commissioner Ashwin Vasan said in the statement. "Vaccination against monkeypox is a critical tool to allow New Yorkers to protect themselves and to help slow the spread."

Even after a recent exposure, vaccination reduces the chance of infection as well as symptoms if infection does occur, the health department said.

New Yorkers will get Bavarian Nordic A/S's Jynneos vaccine, a two-shot regimen administered four weeks apart. New York has 1,000 doses of Jynneos, according to health department spokesman Michael Lanza, enough to immunise 500 peopl...

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