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In New York, long lines to get vaccinated against monkeypox

New York (AFP) – With its tables and chairs lined up and the medical equipment, the gymnasium, in a high school in Brooklyn, is reminiscent of an anti-Covid vaccination center: but it was for monkey pox that it opened on Sunday At New York, “epicenter” American viral disease.

Outside, in the Bushwick district, a long queue has formed on the sidewalk, for the vast majority of men aged between their twenties and their forties, eager to protect those around them and to avoid monkey pox, rashes and pains.

Everyone AFP interviewed felt lucky, as it was difficult to get an appointment on the city’s dedicated website, which lacks doses. On Friday, 9,200 slots were released at 6 p.m. and left in seven minutes. Three days earlier, the traffic was such that it overwhelmed the site and brought it down.

The city of more than 8 million people saw contamination climb last week, with 461 cases listed on Friday since the onset of the disease in the United States in May, against 223 on Monday.

Connected

“It’s frustrating, especially because with Covid, you would have thought there would be a more structured process for rolling out vaccines, but there really wasn’t a process”says Aidan Baglivo, a 23-year-old data analyst, for whom the people best connected to social networks are privileged.

“That shouldn’t be a problem, because there is already a vaccine, and every day that there are not more people vaccinated is wasted”, deplores Robert, 28 years old. He himself was able to have an appointment, by refreshing the page “like a freak”but not his companion or his best friend.

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Anyone can get monkeypox, which is spread through close contact, but the Jynneos vaccine is currently restricted to men who have sex with men, the vast majority of cases. Enough to fuel fears that the LGBTQ community, of which New York is one of the capitals, will be further stigmatized and that the virus will become “a gay disease” in minds.

” Fear “

Monkey pox (“monkeypox” in English), “it’s really a scary name”dreads Robert.

For Nathan Tylutki, a 42-year-old actor, “maybe there would be an answer to develop more vaccines if it didn’t affect queer people”. According to him, there will be few anti-vaxxers in this community, “because we have seen the diseases, we know what AIDS is”.

Monkeypox usually heals on its own, but it is characterized by rashes — which can appear on the genitals or in the mouth — and can be accompanied by bouts of fever, sore throats and sometimes severe pain.

The megacity on the American east coast counts 21,500 doses of vaccines already injected or appointments made and it hopes to be able to accelerate with the promise of more than 30,000 vaccines for the entire state of New York, of which it should receive a good part. . But for lack of doses, the Bushwick site was not to reopen on Monday.

“We need tens of thousands of doses”City Health Commissioner Ashwin Vasan insisted on Sunday.

In the queue, Leroy Jackson, a 27-year-old fitness instructor, has another worry.

“I must be the only one or maybe we are two or three black people in this line”out of more than a hundred people who are waiting, he notes, raising the question of access to appointments for minorities and the less privileged.

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© AFP

Also on GoodPlanet Mag’:

WHO accuses rich countries of undermining system of vaccine distribution to poor countries

Horseshoe crabs, vital “living fossils” for vaccine safety

Vaccination of children: the UN sounds the alarm on a risk of “absolute catastrophe”

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