Health care workers with the New York City Department of...

Health care workers with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene help people register for the monkeypox vaccine. The city has the largest allocation of the vaccine statewide. Credit: AP/Mary Altaffer

An additional 4,000 doses of the scarce vaccine against monkeypox are headed to Suffolk County, part of a shipment of nearly 12,000 more doses to be distributed statewide, Gov. Kathy Hochul said Wednesday.

The biggest allocation of the doses, which come to the state from the federal government, are headed to New York City, the epicenter of the outbreak.

More than 171,000 doses of the vaccine — which is given in two shots, four weeks apart — have been allocated to the state, according to slides distributed by Hochul's office.
Local health departments are handling vaccine administration.

Across the region and the nation, appointments for the vaccine have booked up whenever they've been made available to the public.

Marykate Guilfoyle, a Suffolk spokeswoman, said appointments, when available, would be posted and booked via the county’s website: suffolkcountyny.gov/monkeypox.

An additional 4,000 doses of the scarce vaccine against monkeypox are headed to Suffolk County, part of a shipment of nearly 12,000 more doses to be distributed statewide, Gov. Kathy Hochul said Wednesday.

Nassau isn’t listed on the slides as getting any additional vaccines in Hochul’s announcement.

So far, Nassau has been allocated 2,640 doses; Suffolk, 8,320.

Hochul last week declared a state of emergency over the outbreak in New York, which has more cases than anywhere else.

As of Wednesday, the state has 1,666 confirmed cases, including 11 in Nassau and 22 in Suffolk, according to a state Health Department tally.

“We are seeing higher cases, you can see them across the state,” Hochul said.

Nationwide, there are at least 6,300, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
At least 98% or 99% of cases in the current outbreak — meaning, outside of parts of Africa where the virus is endemic — have been in men who have sex with other men.

Suffolk's Fire Island, home to the gay vacation communities of Cherry Grove and the Pines, has been one of the county’s main vaccine sites.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical adviser to the president, advised last month that those who are at greatest risk in the current outbreak — men who have anonymous or random sex with other men, one of the criteria to qualify for the vaccine — reduce the number of sexual encounters.

"When you have a situation where you're not protected, and you have a virus that's circulating in the community, [it] is just prudent to just cool it for a while until you get that protection," he said, adding: "You don't want to interfere with a person's lifestyle, but you want to tell them be prudent. It's risky right now. Wait till we get everybody who needs the vaccine, to be vaccinated, get drugs ready to go and then go about your life."

But other health officials, including some in New York, have resisted giving such advice, calling it stigmatizing and counterproductive. 

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