NEW YORK - Efforts to distribute the monkeypox vaccine are ramping up across New York as the viral outbreak continues to spread.
Thousands of new appointments opened up Friday in the city and were quickly filled.
Friday at 6 p.m., 9,200 appointments opened up, and within seven minutes, they were all gone.
"Within minutes! I mean, I think they should have enough supply," Chelsea resident Ben Williams said.
This week, the city received over 14,000 doses from the federal government. The health department says Friday's rollout was smooth, but there are still a number of people who disagree, saying they've been unsuccessful securing an appointment.
As CBS2's Alecia Reid reports, at 6 p.m., the website was a bit slow to load, there were no available clinics nearby and before making a decision, all appointments were gone.
"I've been trying to make an appointment since last week, and the website kept crashing. Then they said it opened up at 6 o'clock, and there are appointments available but they weren't here," Chelsea resident Chester Rhodes said.
With 461 monkeypox cases in the city, 30 percent of the nationwide total, New York City is now the epicenter, according to the health department.
"That's scary. That's very scary. We need more vaccines, quickly," Williams said.
There was a bit of good news late Friday. Gov. Kathy Hochul announced more than 32,000 additional doses are heading our way next week.
"I guess the rush right now, it's really confusing trying to get one, so I'll hold out. I wanna get it, but I'll wait," Rhodes said.
In a statement, health officials said in part:
"Vaccine supply continues to be extremely limited, and we are working to get vaccine to New Yorkers as soon as possible. In addition to the appointments that went online today, we will continue to receive appointments for people referred by community partner organizations serving highest-risk patients. We will advise New Yorkers when more appointments can be made."
With the current vaccine shortage, health officials say some individuals may not get their second does within the 28-day period, but that shouldn't affect their immune response once it's administered.
To receive notifications about monkeypox appointments, text MONKEYPOX to 692692 or MONKEYPOXESP for alerts in Spanish.
To improve access, the Health Department is opening up three mass vaccination sites this weekend, along with an additional clinic on Staten Island.
Written By: Carolyn Gusoff