With its tables and chairs lined up and medical equipment, the gym, in a Brooklyn high school, is reminiscent of an anti-COVID vaccination center: but it was for monkeypox that it opened on Sunday in New York, “epicenter of the disease of the American virus. .
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Outside, in the Bushwick neighborhood, a long line formed on the sidewalk, mostly men in their twenties and forties, eager to protect those around them and avoid monkeypox, rashes and aches.
All those interviewed by AFP felt lucky, since it was very difficult to get an appointment on the website prepared by the City, which lacks doses. On Friday, 9,200 places were released at 6:00 p.m. and they 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 rise last week, with 461 cases recorded on Friday since the start of the disease in the United States in May, up from 223 on Monday.
“It’s frustrating, especially because with COVID one would have thought there would be a more structured process to roll out vaccines, but there really wasn’t a process,” says Aidan Baglivo, a 23-year data analyst, for whom people better connected to social networks are privileged.
“That should not be a problem, because there is already a vaccine, and every day that more people are not vaccinated is a waste,” laments Robert, 28. He himself could have a date refreshing the page “like a psychopath”, but not his partner or his best friend.
Anyone can get monkeypox, which is spread by 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 people’s minds.
monkey pox (monkey pox in English), “it really is a scary name,” fears Robert.
For Nathan Tylutki, a 42-year-old actor, “perhaps there would be an answer to develop more vaccines if it didn’t affect queer people.” According to him, there will be few anti-vaccines in this community, “because we have seen the diseases, we know what AIDS is.”
Monkeypox usually clears up on its own but is characterized by rashes, which can appear on the genitals or in the mouth, and can be accompanied by bouts of fever, sore throat and sometimes severe pain.
The megacity on the US East Coast has 21,500 doses of vaccine already injected or scheduled appointments and hopes 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, due to lack of doses, the Bushwick site would not reopen on Monday.
“We need tens of thousands of doses,” the city’s health commissioner, Ashwin Vasan, insisted on Sunday.
In line, Leroy Jackson, a 27-year-old fitness instructor, has another concern.
“I must be the only one or maybe we are two or three blacks in this queue”, of more than a hundred people who are waiting, he points out, raising the question of access to dating for minorities and less. privileged.
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