Access to monkeypox vaccines, as well as supports for those already infected with the virus, are lacking
Just as we thought we were out of the vaccine-hunting game, many queer men are finding themselves once again jumping between around-the-block lines, social media threads and desperate group chats to access the shots they need.
Such was the case earlier this month in Toronto, as vaccine pop-up clinics for monkeypox became available for men who have sex with men—a group deemed higher risk based on the demographic of confirmed monkeypox cases. An infection characterized by skin lesions and flu-like symptoms, monkeypox is rarely fatal, but symptoms and contagiousness last between two and four weeks, making it difficult to stay home and quarantine as public health agencies are directing. While there’s no monkeypox vaccine, the smallpox vaccine is at least 85 percent effective in protecting against the virus.
That vaccine’s rollout, however, hasn’t exactly been smooth. Toronto’s queues spanned hundreds of people, with the downtown vaccine clinic at the AIDS Committee of Toronto’s offices running out of doses just 20 minutes after opening. Similar things are happening elsewhere. Some of New York’s monkeypox vaccine clinics were forced to close following overwhelming demand. When D.C. Health announced 300 available vaccine appointments, all had been claimed less than 15 minutes later.
This article was written by Kevin Hurran and originally posted on xtra Magazine. Please click HERE to read the full article.