NEW YORK: 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 in New York on Sunday , American “epicenter” of the viral disease.
Outside in the Bushwick neighborhood, a long queue formed on the sidewalk, overwhelmingly men in their twenties to forties, eager to protect those around them and to avoid monkeypox, 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 inhabitants saw contaminations climb last week, with 461 cases listed on Friday since the appearance of the disease in the United States in May, against 223 on Monday.
Monkey pox (“monkeypox” in English), “it’s really a scary name”, fears 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-vaccines 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 throat and sometimes severe pain.
The megalopolis of 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 queue”, out of more than a hundred people who are waiting, he notes, raising the question of access to appointments. you for the minorities and the less privileged.