New York City — Authorities opened up more monkeypox vaccine appointments Tuesday, but the demand was so high that the site reportedly crashed within minutes due to “overwhelming traffic.”
New York City authorities announced Tuesday that a “limited number” of monkeypox vaccine appointments were available at three clinics. However, the site was down “as soon as appointments went online,” the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene noted in a statement.
According to the agency, all the available slots were taken, and many of the people who tried to get appointments were instead met with an error message on the site.
“This is just further proof that demand is very high, and we will continue working to make vaccine available,” the agency said, adding that it will make further announcements when appointments are available again. “We apologize for the frustration caused and are working to build stable appointment infrastructure as we roll out more appointments as vaccine supply increases in the coming weeks.”
This is not the first hiccup in the city’s monkeypox vaccine rollout. In June, for instance, the city had to stop walk-in vaccinations “within hours” of the launch because of the very high demand.
These troubles in the vaccine rollout come as New York City continues to see significant increases in monkeypox cases. The city saw a 100% increase in “presumed monkeypox cases” in just the last week, and a whopping 315% increase in the past two weeks, reported NBC New York. New York City so far accounts for about a fifth of the U.S. monkeypox cases this year.
“Cases are increasing in NYC,” noted the NYC Health Department. “As of July 12, 267 people in New York City have tested positive for orthopoxvirus. All cases are likely monkeypox. There are likely more cases that have not been diagnosed.”
Most of the patients did not need to be hospitalized, according to the agency. However, the rashes can be painful and may last for weeks. Those who notice “new or unexpected rash or sores” on the body should contact a healthcare provider.