An additional 1,800 doses of the much sought-after monkeypox vaccine will be available starting Thursday on Fire Island, in Bay Shore and also Hampton Bays, and continuing through next week, Suffolk County officials announced Wednesday.
Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday announced that the additional 1,800 doses were headed to Suffolk County and 1,000 would be allotted to Nassau. All vaccine doses require an appointment, which in Suffolk County can be made by visiting SuffolkCountyNY.gov/Monkeypox.
“It's important if you want to get that vaccine that you go to the link when those open up and secure your place in line,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said during a news conference Wednesday announcing the additional clinics.
Northwell Health plans to host additional clinics in Nassau County next week, said Dr. Annabella Salvador, senior vice president of medical affairs and deputy chief medical officer for the health system. No dates have been announced for that program.
Signs of monkeypox include flu-like symptoms or rashes, bumps and blisters that can be extremely painful, according to the state Department of Health. The disease is rarely fatal.
In Suffolk, about 525 doses will be distributed at Northwell Health Physician Partners at Cherry Grove on Fire Island from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday. The link to make reservations went live at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Northwell will also offer 250 doses at the Northwell Health Community Center in the Westfield Mall in Bay Shore from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. on July 27. Appointments for an additional 400 doses to be administered on Fire Island sometime next week can be made beginning Monday at 9 a.m., Bellone said.
Stony Brook Medicine will host five clinics distributing 615 doses at the Edie Windsor Healthcare Center at 182 W. Montauk Highway, Hampton Bays, between July 25 and Aug. 3. Appointments can be made beginning Saturday at 9 a.m. by visiting the county website.
The times are as follows: July 25, noon to 7 p.m.; July 27, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.; July 29, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Aug. 1, noon to 7 p.m.; and Aug. 3, 1 to 5 p.m.
The vaccine, Jynneos, is given in two doses, four weeks apart.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the state had 756 confirmed monkeypox cases, of which 711 were New York City residents, according to the state Department of Health. There were five each in Nassau and Suffolk.
Almost 99% of city cases are in men who have sex with men — which mirrors the demographics of the global outbreak that started in May — according to an advisory released Monday by the New York City Health Department. Those who qualify for the vaccine include men with multiple or anonymous male sex partners.
To determine if a patient has monkeypox, Northwell staff will swab a lesion that is then sent for a PCR test at a commercial laboratory used by the hospital system, Salvadore said. She added that Northwell hopes to gain the ability to run the test in-house.
Stony Brook University Hospital's monkeypox task force is working to manage potential outbreaks and contain community spread, said Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jonathan Buscaglia.
“Although we're not in a pandemic with monkey we certainly need to remain vigilant,” Buscaglia said.