On Wednesday, July 20, Suffolk county executive Steve Bellone held a press conference where he discussed the state of the monkeypox virus in Suffolk County and announced that the county was receiving an additional 1,800 doses of the vaccine from New York State, the county’s largest allotment to date.
Two weeks ago, the county began administering the monkeypox vaccine on Fire Island and last week the county began administering vaccines on the mainland. On Wednesday, July 27, the county offered 250 vaccines at the Northwell Health Community Center in the Westfield Mall in Bay Shore.
Stony Brook University Hospital will be hosting clinics in Hampton Bays at the Edie Windsor Healthcare Clinic on Monday, July 25, Wednesday July 27 and Friday, July 29. On Monday, Aug. 1 and Wednesday, Aug. 3, there will be additional appointments available as well. Vaccines are offered by appointment only. More information and appointments can be found at suffolkcountyny.gov/monkeypox. According to the New York State Department of Health, as of July 25, Suffolk County had reported 16 confirmed monkeypox cases.
Bellone noted that the county is keeping a small number of vaccines for high-risk contacts for any new cases that may come up. The vaccine is a two-dose vaccination administered 28 days apart. Immunity and the high antibody response is not achieved until two weeks after the second vaccination.
Matthew McMorrow, Gov. Kathy Hochul’s deputy director of constituency affairs, was also on hand at Bellone’s press conference, and reiterated what Hochul had recently stated: that New York continues to face a disproportionate number of monkeypox cases.
Morrow also noted that “while anyone can get or spread monkeypox, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, we really owe it to the affected communities to be honest about what the data is telling us, and that is that the LGBTQ community is experiencing the highest rate of infection right now, and we need to share that information with people so that they can protect themselves.
“In the current outbreak of monkeypox, it’s primarily spreading among social networks of gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men through close, prolonged physical contact, including sex or other intimate activity,” Morrow said.
According to Suffolk County, the symptoms of monkeypox are rashes, bumps, or blisters that may appear on or around the genitals or in other areas such as hands, feet, chest, or face. They may be similar in appearance to common sexual transmitted infections (STIs) and other common skin ailments such as poison ivy. Other symptoms include flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle aches, chills and fatigue. These symptoms may occur before or after the rash appears or not at all.
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